Every October feels like too much. It feels like the bottom has dropped out of my reality and I’m hanging on to the fringes of rope that was only ever meant to be decorative. Schedules fill too quickly and overlap, tempers are short, people are weary – bone weary – and it’s as if this constant pace of work, school, life, is just speeding up and my stride just can’t match.

 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 22:1 NIV

October is for unraveling.

Recently, a friend said just that: “I’m unraveling”. I knew what he meant, and felt it deeply in my own attempt to describe the chaos, but it also reminded me of something else. It reminded me of days when I used to sit and unravel a mess of yarn and string. Patiently pulling apart the strands in an attempt to wind it into a perfect ball – ordering the chaos through the unraveling.

photo by Markus Spiske on

When I named this blog, I named it with yarn on my mind. Recognizing that knitting was full of knots and loops tied on purpose, and endless amounts of untangling of those same knots, created on purpose and just as many accidentally drawn together. I also named this with my own name in mind.

I’ve never been a person to place a huge amount of connected meaning to my own life and the meaning of my name, but after 38 years with my name, I am sort of attached and I’ve become fond of it’s meaning. I remember a time when I was super young that I had a little kitschy bookmark with my name and it’s meaning overlaid on a meant-to-be meaningful image. The card had my name in printed script and underneath, a description: knotted cord. I’ve looked it up since and other definitions are “to bind” or “bound” or “to tie”. All of these circling back to knots; To cords; To feeling bound, but also to having the ability to bind, the ability to tie back together. I’ve thought of this often as my super power – binding, connecting – people, ideas, words, yarn.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90: 17

Hence the Blog: “Over Around and Through”; hence the subtitle: “Tying and Untying a Hearts worth of Knots”

Then comes along October and the unraveling doesn’t seem good anymore – doesn’t feel healthy or helpful – it just feels like a falling apart – a trailing of too many threads. Too many cords to tie, too many knots unbound. So I sink in and begin the unraveling, the straightening out of each knot, and it’s tedious, but in the long run (and October seems the longest run each year), the straightening and rewinding, the fresh knots and maybe new cords, will come together. They always do.

5 thoughts on “Frayed

  1. Fill me in…why is October so trying? It’s a pretty mild month in my year…school well under way, no holidays or birthdays of note ( aka low stress). Beautiful weather, usually….am I missing something? ps..I wrote a version of Psalm 124. It seems to speak to moments like this.

    • I’m so glad it’s a mild month for you! I think it’s been especially since entering classroom teaching, but just teaching in general – October is a month that seems to just fill with all the things – sports for my own kids and students, Shorter afternoons as it gets darker and colder, homework, planning, and perhaps the ramping toward Halloween, all of the personalities coming out in full. I’m not sure completely what makes it stressful – but I think it’s the FULL-ness and the continual filling. I’d love to read your version of Psalm 124 if you are willing to share 🙂

  2. Hopefully this will copy in…

    Psalm 124…a Personal Take

    Let’s ask the question that our very lives beg: What would have become of us when people attacked us, if the Lord Himself had not fought for us?
    They would have completely destroyed us!
    We would have been devoured by their angry mouths,
    We’d have been buried in the cataclysm,
    Carried away by the tsunami of their rage. Gone.
    Yet we remain! We extol and Glorify the Lord, who intervened on our behalf, keeping their teeth from our flesh. We have broken free from the traps and snares set for us, even as the birds and beasts escape the bonds of the hunter.
    Our Salvation comes from Yaweh, He who is the Creator of ALL things.

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