One of the true things for today is that, when you can’t quite tell if the stuff on your nails is paint or chocolate, it’s been a pretty good day!
Hint… if it washes off the first time, it’s chocolate. If it takes a bit more effort, it’s likely to be paint from something like my Work-in-Progress Legend painting. Here’s part of what’s happening…
And, yes, the former surgical nurse still lives inside me, so you can bet that I’ve washed those hands about 20 times!
Which reminds me of another good thing. An online seminar from my friend, Paul Scheele at Learning Strategies, about – wait for it – helping people learn HOW to learn. Imagine that! Today was only day one. I suspect there will be more to share.
For now, here’s another thing that’s true.
Even when it’s been a day with lots of good things going on, life can feel a bit snarly and knotted up.
One of the times that happens for me, especially lately, is when I get really, really brave and open my email.
Yes, there are things in there that I want and need to know about or deal with.
There are also about a zillion things I don’t need or want to know about. There are even occasionally some things in my junk mail that the Committee on Ministry would probably prefer I didn’t know about!
I’ve gotten really proficient at deleting and unsubscribing. Also just plain old ignoring. I’ll bet you have, too.
The problem occurs when there are things I care deeply about but can’t change all by myself. This moment in history seems to be even more full of those than usual.
Requests to sign petitions and contact legislators on issues with the power to change the future for many, many people.
Pleas for donations.
Even very enticing offers for things that require tough choices… I don’t think any of us can have or do them all! (Okay, at least I can’t!)
Every now and then I’m tempted to just not engage, as in not even opening the email. It’s not a great strategy, though, for any sense of doing some good in the world.
A sorting strategy of some type is essential. Mine goes a bit like this:
- Is this a personal message from someone I know?
- Is it an Intentional Creativity® thing?
- Is it information I’ve requested, like details on some new shoes that might just make it easier to teach on concrete floors for 5 or 6 hours at a time?
- Is it from Newf Rescue?
- Is it from Bernie Sanders?
- Is it about one of my top 3 human issues?
You get the drift. Sadly, there are lots of days when even that kind of sorting strategy leaves me with more than I can deal with. That’s when I pick up the yarn!
Specifically, the red yarn. If you’ve been hanging around for a while, or noticed the photo, you probably suspect that the Red Thread Legend is nearby!
Indeed, it’s always nearby for me. Not only the part about the mythical red thread that connects us, one to the other, with people we know and people we don’t know and people who are likely to be important in our lives, but the part that reminds us that we are only called to hold our piece of the red thread.
I think that’s because, since the time women first started telling stories, we’ve known that none of us can do it all alone. And the gift of accepting that reality is that we are then free to do what we can.
Maybe you remember, like I do, coming home from school, or perhaps Girl Scouts, with a snarly, knotted wad of yarn and directions to return it to school all untangled and neatly rolled into a ball for some project or other.
Just between us, it was usually my mom who wound up making the magic that seemed so hard for my little fingers and age-appropriately short attention span.
These days I make a lot of that kind of magic. The girls and I made some together at Christmas. It’s important if you have prayer scarves or shawls to knit. Or hats or socks or baby blankets. It’s really hard to make things out of snarly, knotted wads of anything.
The bonus is that, once it’s unknotted, we actually can find and claim our own pieces.
And, yes, it works for email. Even snail mail. And politics. And relationships. Especially when we’re all doing it together.
What feels like your piece of the red thread? I’d love to hear!
ps. Here’s a bonus #WIP. She’s headed to Wild Oats & Billy Goats. Having a blast with the edges!!!