All through the making process, this new art image and I went back and forth between my desire to mend and its intention to unravel.
I kept trying to return to my first idea-- to heal things, put them back together. I thought Mending would be a beautiful theme to start 2022, since so many, many things are currently falling apart. I'm heartbroken that we're still, more, deeply enduring the pandemic, climate crisis, racial injustice, political failure. The fraying edges and breaking seams are ever more apparent. I'm finding my way through sorrow, anger, and sometimes despair.
And yet. In my life, I've experienced so much valuable growth, change, and possibility on the other side of things falling apart. God / Spirit / Love brought me through the very real 'end of my world' too many times to ignore that unraveling also offers a gift: When I'm bound up in knots I don't even know about, unraveling shows that truth. Sometimes, if I let it, this truth can set me free.
I wholeheartedly believe this; but I don't really like it. Although I've sometimes practiced on purpose to be ready for sacred deconstructions when they arrive, some parts of me are still scared. And of course they are! Unraveling feels terrifying in the places I've known trauma. My inner "neat and tidy" voices are afraid too, conditioned by a lot of tightly-woven niceness and white supremacy to resist grief, change, and the unknown.
So for me, any unraveling needs plenty of love and support, self-compassion, spiritual grounding, art-making, and community. I need help to remember it's gonna be ok and maybe even good to let go. I need practice to relax enough to imagine something beautiful or more useful could come next. Maybe you do too... and maybe this art image can be a reminder for us all.
Do you think we could practice unraveling in a group way too-- in our friendships, families, communities? And good gracious, do you agree that we need some willingness to unravel in our culture and in our world? I think all the things that break my heart need some breaking down and reconfiguring: pandemic, climate crisis, racial injustice, political failure, etc. There are many wise ones with the gifts to know why, when, and how we unravel or deconstruct systems and situations. I often need to learn the most from those at the edges of dominant culture: people of color, Indigenous communities, LBGTQIA people, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, those who are incarcerated, elders, children, etc. I want to pay attention and follow their lead.
Though I still hope for mending, I pray for the humility and courage to welcome this season of unravelling. I shudder a little as I pray it, imagining some of what that will require. But I know in my spirit I can open again to Mystery, guidance, and eventually a new way forward. If we practice together-- because we need each other!!-- I can strengthen my faith that the Spirit in unraveling can transform our communities and our world, too. May it be so.