I have all these wool skeins that need to be wound into nice neat balls. I hadn't gotten around to the winding, as it seemed a monotonous task. I'd rather spend ball-winding time weaving, with my looms, caught up in that rhythmic relationship of warp and weft.
But I live now on the edge of a grief that frightens me. As it did yesterday, as I stood on the expansive stone steps of the DMV, where my mother had been called in for a mandatory road test, after mistaking the gas pedal for the brake and driving into the wall of a carpet store.
Climbing those massive stone steps had been an ordeal, as she has weakened and her balance is precarious.
And now as I was navigating her back down them, she was unravelling: "They don't understand. I won't go far. I just need to go the store. When I run out of milk. Eggs. Why can't they understand that?"
She'd failed the road test miserably. I was not surprised, but neither could I have ever been the one to take away her car keys.
She'd had to surrender her license. She'd had to slide it across the counter. I'd caught one last glimpse of her picture, a younger self.
She gave in to the unravelling. We stopped on a stone step. She leaned into the metal railing and began to really cry. "I'm a nonperson. I feel like a hollowed out piece of wood. I'm not a person anymore."
I held her elbow to keep her steady, but I had no words. I could not console. I was too locked up in my own grief of watching my life-long muse and best friend unraveling.
Metaphors can cheapen hard truths, but truths perhaps otherwise that are hard to express. So you could say aging is the unravelling of a once tightly woven ball of yarn.
But I'm not looking to cheapen this post, nor my grief. Only feeling I need to learn ways of coping with that grief. Grief, I now realize, does not necessarily commence the day someone actually dies. It's already here. It weighs heavily even as I type.
And yesterday, once I was back home, I could find no solace. But I was desperate to seek it out. And I found it. By the grace of sheer monotony. Of finally winding at least one skein into one ball of yarn.
Originally, I was going to cheat and just post here my Writer's Weaver's Tale, as I couldn't resist all those Ws. So here it is anyway: http://sandrasfiberworks.blogspot.com/p/writers-weavers-tale.html