I don’t know about you, but I like to tie up loose ends. The sense that a situation or project has a fitting conclusion makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The room remodeled or the relationship restored has a kind of completion feel that makes my day. However, life does not lend itself towards end strings neatly tied and tucked.
Unfortunately, one tragedy, trauma, or drama after the other waits in a long line. No sooner do we process the current incident when the next crisis steps up to the front of the line, extends its frayed hand, and bids our mental, emotional, and spiritual engagement.
So if we know this, then why do we humans fight this tendency towards incompletion that this world seems to require? Are our lives meant to become finished works this side of heaven? Or would we find more peace of mind if we accepted the fact that living will always have loose ends?
Most of the women in my family crochet. Sometimes we even sit in a circle at family gatherings and talk while we weave together our scarves, blankets, and baby caps. We then give our treasures away. Mom donates her baby hats and blankets to shelters or to the hospital for premature infants. My sister, daughters, and I give our scarves to friends and family.
Today I’m thinking that perhaps hope is the crochet hook that ties one loose end of living to the next. In a scarf project, a loose end occurs when we need to add on more yarn. Maybe the traumas we face are kind of like this. We use hope to string together wisdom gleaned from crisis after crisis. In time, we acquire empathy we can extend to others.
This is a good thing, a growing experience. Our hearts are expanding, lengthening.
I envision the wisdom gleaned through difficult times as an unending line of scarves you make throughout your lifetime. Wisdom provides comfort for others just as the scarves my family makes warm the necks of receivers.
So I wonder whether we shouldn’t fight loose ends but embrace them as a way to gain and then share our experience, strength, and hope*. In doing so, we will all be a bit warmer when the cool, biting winds of tragedy blow.
*Twelve-step Recovery slogan