Judging Our Story: Nots or Knots

The way one views life as a whole is important and will sometimes shape how you interrupt your experiences. Some people view life as a cycle of events that repeat or a spiral that repeats but moves upwards. And others view it as a line. I myself am starting to see it as a knot.

Last year I took over my daughter’s room while she was away at school in South Africa and made it my art studio. She has a wonderful drafting table and her room lets in the lovely morning light. I experimented with mediums, took some online tutorials on art techniques, and just played. One of the things I learned to do was to draw Celtic knots. My mom is from Ireland, and our home was seeped in her culture. So, I guess wanting to learn how to draw Celtic knots was bound to happen. Anyway, the process was tedious, but the product was spectacular. Even my first attempt wasn’t half bad.

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Well, those knots taught me something. The weaving, the overlapping of lines to form this beautiful, intricate knot is a lot like life for me. Life happens with all its twists and bends. We have experiences, encounter tragedy and joy, gain knowledge, and over time, we find that those experiences, the knowledge gained, the tragedy survived prepare us for things to come, in our story or in the story of others. That’s when the beautiful overlaps occur.

While it’s happening, we are unaware of the beauty that’s being created. For a knot to be completed, there has to be twists, turns, overlaps, places where the pattern meets up with a dead end. All of it contributes to the delicate and sturdy beauty of a Celtic knot.

This idea of knots is affecting my perspective on my life and is changing my writing. The other day in my writing group, our teacher gave us a writing prompt: what I am not doing. When she gives us a prompt, we are to write freely about the prompt given for usually five minutes. This is what came out of me.

What am I not doing – words that beat me up on a daily basis. So focused on the NOT that I miss the AM, and that ties my insides up in NOTS. Maybe that’s why I write – one of the things I AM doing.

I write to undo the NOTS in my life – threads of dreams, the chords of starts, the strings of to-dos, the chains of not finished yet. Writing picks the NOTs apart, threads from strings, cords from chains. And as I write, I see a KNOT, a beautiful celtic design that isn’t a NOT. It’s a KNOT of paths taken or yet to be taken, leading to the beautiful, the lovely, the story of my life.


Our stories have overlaps, twists, bends, beauty, stops and starts. And what seems to be a tangled mess is becoming a beautiful knot. Don’t judge your life too quickly, making a intricate knot takes time, but it’s worth it.

31 dAYS

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