16. Life

My grandfather, Gibbs, always had a trick up his sleeve. I was rather young when he died, but not too young to remember his magic. Whenever I saw him, he would pull a coin from his pocket and hold it between his middle finger and his thumb. And then, with a quick snap, the coin would disappear, returning to his palm only after he would seemingly retrieve it from behind my ear.

Another of his favorites involved an ordinary piece of string, which, like the coin, he always had readily available. First, he would fold the segment of string down the middle and cut it in half using his pocket knife. With his fingers, he would quickly tie the ends back together using a simple knot and put the knotted pair between his lips. After a few quick chewing motions, he would remove the string to reveal that it was no longer knotted. Magically, the string was restored to its original uncut condition.

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Maybe the thought of knots reminds you of problems or irreconcilable tangles. And life, unfortunately, gives us enough of those, doesn’t it? But you could also think of knots as points of important interferences or intersections. I, for one, like to think of knots as life events – things that I will ultimately remember and cherish. If time is the string of life’s passing, then events are the knots – or intersections – of happenings that make life more interesting. I think of love as the intertwining of lives — the merging of souls or the marriage of two strings to form a beautiful knot.

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Day 16 Guide

Living well means tying more knots. Don’t let the string of time pass without giving yourself the chance to find meaningful intersections. Don’t let fear stop you from getting tangled up in life and love.

© 2006, Levi Hill

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