Today’s session started like any other except for the fact that my skirt got caught in the bicycle wheel twice on the way over. I was feeling pleased with myself for getting to the bench early in the morning, and allowing enough time to unroll the line all the way down to 12. I’d been feeling a great deal of resistance lately to unrolling the line down the hill, but I’d dismissed it as laziness! In a middle of a conversation with M, guitar strapped on his back, the line suddenly began to pull away from me. I started running to keep up, needles in hand. My hat fell off, and I kept running. When I got down to the school, I saw a street sweeper receding down the hill, the blue line caught in its rotating bristles. “Tell me what to do,” I kept praying but I couldn’t think of anything except to try to catch up with the sweeper whose engine was so loud I didn’t even bother trying to shout to the driver. I let go of the needles, and kept running. Finally, the sweeper released the rope, and my worse fear had come true—it was split in half, the ends horribly frayed. This is the world we live in, I thought to myself. A world held together with glue, patch jobs, and mending.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.
M. came down the hill after me, upset with the driver. I was sure the driver was completely oblivious to what had just happened…He helped wind the ball of yarn back up and left to go play guitar at the Fire House Café. I got the hose reel and started rolling the line back up from the bottom of the hill. The gardener in front of the church told me how worried he had been when he saw the street sweeper, and offered his sympathy. When I climbed back up to 15th St, Candy was carefully untangling the line. I don’t know how she appeared right when I needed her. She also had my purse which a concerned passerby had brought down to her. “Putting together puzzles and untangling knots are my forte!” she said. She thinks I’ll be able to knit and weave the two ends together so that the tear is not even noticeable. I felt so supported throughout the ordeal.
Sh*t happens. But, as my spiritual director pointed out, sh*t is used in compost, generating a heat that’s transformative. I’ve been in the compost a lot lately, experiencing both great growth and resistance. Here’s what my spiritual director told me. Resistance is always a threshold, calling one to pause and ask some questions. “Is this a threshold I need to cross over now? Or is it not to be crossed yet? Or must I never cross it?” The goal in all of this is to move towards your true self. Resistance is like a knot, and when faced with a knot, the worse thing to do is to keep pulling on it, using brute force. Relax, don’t tense. Let the “should’s” lie. Then try different things, ask different questions, the way one gently tugs at a string to see what it’s connected to and where it goes. As of today, I release my goal of unwinding the line down the hill. I will content myself with laying it across just one street where I can keep an eye on it.