As soon as my daughter learned to stand on two feet, she spent much of her time hanging onto my leg as I moved through the house. I became accustomed to walking gently in order to avoid crushing little toes. A shuffling gait started to feel natural. I mastered the skill of prying open little fingers in a playful way, gently releasing her grip without hurting feelings. I became an excellent untangler.
The other day my kids (now 10 and 8 years old) were playing Twister. "Right Foot Red" "Left Hand Yellow" "Right Foot Yellow" "Left Hand Blue" Laughing, bickering, crashing, starting over.
Watching them get all tangled up, then untangled, then tangled again, I realized that my recent efforts to untangle myself from the everyday clutter of my life are sort of like a game of Twister. I become accustomed to one position, then the wheel spins ("Right Foot Blue") and I shift. Once there, sometimes I become untangled and breathe a sigh of relief. Other times, I move with the universe's next spin ("Left Hand Red") and off I go, toppling, off-kilter, so tangled I fall over. Get up, brush off, and start again.
In about 500 days, I will depart Seldovia, Alaska on a sailboat for the adventure of a lifetime, a passage around the world with my family. Between now and then, I will be untangling from the day to day life we have built. Untangling from my clothes and my stuff, from bank accounts and credit cards, from friends and my house and my gear. Participating in a gigantic Game of Twister. Bring it on! Spin the wheel!
As far as untangling my daughter from my legs, things have shifted a bit. At eight years old, my little monkey girl still hangs on to me - long wiry legs wrap solidly around my middle, head snuggles into my neck, arms wrap around my shoulders with a lion's strength. Now I hold on. I don't want to untangle her anymore, I hold her tight, the lioness mama wrapped around her cub.
There is one more thing that I must mention in this rambling about being tangled up - YOGA. It is helping me see that I can be all tangled up (try Eagle Pose) and still stand strong and tall, connected. Ah....Namaste.....