It was a scenario that every knitter knows too well. The skein that needs to be wound and the thought that I can do it myself.
My sister found herself in that predicament a few weeks back.
"I think I am going to need your help", she calmly said.
And so it began.
At first we attempted the tried and true method. I put my arms through either end of the already tangled skein while she continued to wind the ball.
It was clear in only a few minutes that this was not going to work.
We started winding from the other end.
This too proved futile.
So silently, without any words we just began the task of untangling the yarn. She starting from one end, I from the other.
Sometimes the yarn would easily unwind for a few turns, and then suddenly it wanted to go in the other direction.
Wordlessly we worked - passing the yarn between us - sometimes we traded the balls we were working on. Sometimes my sister picked up and shook a clump of knots to avoid a tighter entanglement. Sometimes one of us would take the whole mess and work through a particularly tricky bit.
This was all done silently. There was no feelings of "I can do this myself". We intuitively knew we had to work together in our separateness.
It was so zen.
Finally we realized it was done. I was holding the bigger ball and handed it to her to wind her smaller one onto it.
It was done.
There is a metaphor here. Untangling our lives. We can't do it alone. We can't do it by talking about it. We can't give up.
We just breathe.
And pass the yarn back and forth.
In and out of the knots that we cannot fathom how they came to be.
But knots they are.
And if we persevere we can conquer them.
Then make something beautiful.