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The Trouble with Yarning

Updated: Mar 29, 2019

The last couple of weeks in art class, my students have been learning how to weave a simple but beautiful radial design while re-purposing old and/or scratched CD's. In preparation for the project I found mounds and tubs of yarn in the art supply closet that I recently inherited when reluctantly returning to the classroom after retiring last year to start my own art business. A dear friend retired and they needed an art teacher mid summer; I just happen to be in a place of perfect timing, like it or not.

As I pulled the yarn out of the cabinet, so much of it seemed familiar. And then I realized it was very familiar...much of it was yarn I collected during my first year of teaching art at this same school some 15 years ago. You can read a little about that first year and the synchronicity of it all right here. To be honest, it was a mess. A big fat wad of tangled mess...which pretty much sums up how i've been feeling lately. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely 100% in love with being back in the classroom teaching art and hanging out with some pretty amazing kids. I mean, is there really any better job? Go to "work", hang out with kids, teach them how to embrace their creativity, and make art. It's pretty ideal. The peace and alchemical magic of living every day like this has given me space to breathe like I don't remember in a very long time.


After pulling the yarn out of the closet and placing it in the back of the classroom, I tried my best to organize the colorful textiles that brought up so much more than I ever dreamed. Most of the organizing was easy...a few loose ends. But then there was the big nasty. The big nasty wad of the past usage no one wanted to deal with...that I didn't want to deal with 15 years ago when the big nasty was mine. There was also the tangled mess that looked perfect on the outside but when inspected, was all cut up on the inside. Someone, in their impatience, could not find the loose end of the skein, so they took the easy way out, stuck their scissors deep inside and cut, temporarily providing a way in, an opening, and a quick fix.

The synchronicity of this story is that this big nasty is actually my ticket to peace and liberation of my soul. Sounds pretty cheesy, huh? The lesson that continues coming up for me is that the work doesn't end. The personal work of growing, improving, and being my best self is ongoing. Some days, it feels exhausting. But lately I feel grateful for the opportunity for growth. Untangling the big nasty takes time, and patience, and more patience. And all those little tidbits of nasty that are rescued become beautiful details of a work of art that never would've been had it not been tended to. The mess that I left 15 years ago was waiting patiently for me when it was just the right time for me to face and work through it.

Grateful. That's where I am most days. Grateful for the opportunity to try again, to start again, to honor myself and untangle the mess that happens sometimes.


Yarning in another definition is "to tell a long or implausible story". When you don't tend to the big nasty of life, it is more difficult to untangle. The good news is, it can be untangled; it can be freed. It can become beautiful details in a colorful story that our days weave into our lives which creates a place to simmer while our next story begins to emerge.



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