The Messy Knot of Life

Something happens. That’s the story of growing up. Something happens and it gets more complicated. That is the story of growing up.

Oftentimes I think I’d be happiest if my life were simple. Shed the influences, the encumbrances, the responsibilities and then happiness has space to grow. There is a problem here though. To take these things away would leave me isolated, cut off and powerless. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for happiness.

There was some moment I thought through this problem and came to a conclusion I’ve stuck with for years now. (Maybe I read it or heard it or dreamt it, I don’t know, but it’s mine now.) The nature of life is to complicate in time.

Maybe complicate isn’t quite right. Life gets more complex, or my feelings are more complex over time. My thoughts are. Situations and relationships braid together, overlap and mash together into a Gordian knot that feels too heavy to untangle.

If only I could reach for Alexander’s blade, slice through it all and make life simple again. But this is a cheat, an unmaking that freezes the very process of life. Deeper down I want my life to become more complex over time.

I don’t need to slice through the knot because I am the knot. The best parts of life are in the little loops, the threads overlapping fuzz balls under tangled yarns. That’s where joy is possible. If the devil is in the details, the angel is too.

Its not easy though. And I’m not perfect, sometimes I’m not willing to grow. I know where I keep my detachment knife. It’s next to the ghosting, denial and willingness to ignore problems. But when I don’t face change, I regret it. Sometimes for years. There is some grace though in that my regrets get tied in with all the rest of it. And I can accept them, because life is complex and so am I.