tangled wisdom...from ecuador with love

My necklace has been tangled all morning long. It's hard to untangle, because it's a bunch of big wooden beads with string separating each one. I tried to untangle it briefly while riding the bus, then gave up in pursuit of reading while on the bus.

I got to school and tinkered with it again, but to no avail.

I went to my class, and for the first 20 minutes, tried in vain to untwist and untangle it.

The knot wouldn't go away.

Then I couldn't get it off my mind.

Now, this isn't just any necklace; it's a necklace that Diana (one of my very best friends) brought back to me from Ecuador. Therefore, it's much more special to me than just any trite piece of jewelry.

After class, I sat down (right here...literally, this just barely happened) and worked on it again. I realized that part of my problem was that I kept pulling from the ends of it, untangling those parts, when in reality the problem was the knot in the center. And it was huge! I didn't know what else to do so I just dove right into the center, worried that I might break the string. After a few minutes of concentrated, hard effort, focusing on being gentle with it, it started to loosen. However, i wasn't done yet...I still had to work at it. Ten minutes later, I got to the point where there were just a few knots left. I couldn't stop here, though, for I'd learned from this morning: if you work to the point to where there's just a little knot, it's still a knot. And with time, and circumstance, in this case, time at school in a messy backpack, it will just get worse.

Finally, my necklace was successfully untangled. I grinned, looked around, perhaps in vain hope that someone would celebrate with me in my accomplishment. Though no one was present to share in my personal little triumph, I smiled to myself and placed the necklace carefully around my neck as not to tangle it again.

Then, I sat, and thought for a second. I pulled out my laptop and wrote this.

And here's why:

This little situation can be applied to life! It seems so simple, and it is! But sometimes I just forget. I thought of many applications, but decided to summarize.

To untangle a problem, don't just fuss around with the little details and ignore what's really wrong. Don't beat around the bush, hoping that it'll fix itself by him-hawing (word?) around the issue. Get to the heart of the problem, though it may break things, or hurt, or take courage, or all of the above. However, don't ignore the little things either; with the ends of my necklace intermingled, solving the middle knots would have done no good. It's a fine line of balance, and nothing can be ignored. All things must be weighed and put in their order of proper priority.

I'm sure there are lots of flaws in this analogy, but it's kind of a tender mercy, because that's the analogy I kept thinking of as it was happening. And I realized, and now confess that this is a problem I have in life in general: Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the details of the little stuff that I miss the big picture. Other times, I get the big picture, but ignore the little things that help the overall whole. And that's something I need to remember right now. As my hands were busy working on the necklace, my mind was given a lot of time to remember this.

But when there's something you really care about (there are many necklaces in the world, but only one from Diana to me from Ecuador), fight for it! With time, patience, perseverance, tender care and focus, things can be resolved.

Now, after I've successfully disencumbered my necklace, I'll be much more careful in the future in my care of it. For now, though, I wear it proudly.

ps. I just got some very funny looks when I took off my necklace, placed it gently on the bench on which I'm sitting, whipped out my camera and took a picture of it. It's not a very artsy picture because I didn't want to distract anyone else. :)


Brandon Burrup said...

Yeah I've noticed you tend to worry a lot about little details where as I usually just decide not to worry. I have lots of friends like that. Its kind of weird that I surround people who have opposite methods of problem resolution than me.

Jefe said...

You always are inspirational. Good job :)

Ps. I would have celebrated with you.

Mom said...

I would have celebrated with you...
it could have been a MDN night, remember???

Your analogy is so typical of the young woman I have the joy of watching you become.

Enjoy each moment, as you keep moving forward.

With love and wonderful memories-

Laura said...

Deep, Kristin. Way to analyze!
Kind of pathetic how often little details get in the way, huh? Human, I suppose, but it's dang annoying somtimes.

AudyCamp said...

thanks for that. I will always think of the analogy as I untangle knots from my necklaces. You're right..you always have to get to the center of the problem first and then every thing else kind of falls into place. Psst..I'm glad you took that picture. I was visualizing it the first paragraph and then got to witness the famous necklace.:)

Jess said...

Hey! I have one of those too!

--jeff * said...

: )