The key to life, well one of the keys anyway, is never being afraid of the drop.
I used to play these string games as a kid, on the playground. The string or shoelace, or ribbon, just about anything, I remember using dental floss, is tied in a loop. The loop is then threaded through the right and left fingers.
Depending on which game or shape being created, fingers move about over and under until the loop is interwoven, laced among the hands. This process is careful, specific, and once you think you’ve done everything, followed all of the rules, you usually have to drop either the thumbs or the pinkies.
This is the moment, the drop, when you see if all the other steps created something with staying power. Cat’s whiskers, a cup and saucer or Jacob’s ladder. I was never good at Jacob’s ladder. It is more of a push pull. I’m kind of a weaver.
Gestures, time, talk, thoughts.
I guess that’s how we touch people, begin the game. But the drop, pinkies and thumbs, is when you know what you have, what you’ve made. I suppose you could hold on to the woven fingers, pretend it’s something, but that’s not a real standing on it’s own thing.
The drop, the moment when you push it, take it to the next level, that’s when you know what you have.
Sometimes, more times that not actually, something goes wrong. There’s only one side of cat whiskers, the other half is a misshapen rectangle, or the cup and saucer looks more like a star. It’s a mess, hollow and nothing like you thought it was going to be when your fingers were all wrapped and ready.
Sometimes, the fingers drop, the string slides perfectly and voilà…a masterpiece from a simple loop. Ins and outs, ups and downs, holding together through the drop and stronger, better, prettier, because if it.
I’ve loved string games since back when my hair was long enough to braid like Pippi. I like a challenge, a connection. I’m willing to put some time in, see what happens, but after the drop, if it’s a stuck to the pinkies, tangled mess, I unweave my fingers and step away.
I’ll regroup, figure out where I went wrong, which finger should have gone left to right instead of right to left. I’ll get it eventually, but I need to set it down. Play something else for a while.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Tangled Covers.