I wrote the fragment –
Such a tightly wound knot”
– about a month ago.
It felt uncomfortable and uncontrollable and so I left it in a drafts folder. I felt uncomfortable. When I see greed, rage, hate in the world hurting so many, it fills me with fear and often my own rage. Shaking my fist at the world with my middle finger rage. As an addict that must feel what I feel rather than avoiding, hiding from, numbing, this is one of the more sobriety-threatening places for me to be. My default is to figure out, to understand in order to resolve. That’s part formal training and part how I’ve been since my earliest memories.
One of my tools in sobriety is to sit with, much like putting an unresolved fragment or verse in a drafts folder, or like a I and IV chord in a song, waiting for the V chord to find me. Like playing music, sometimes I have to let the ‘uncomfortableness’ linger and hover before I let words or chords emerge and find me. Though it’s important that I let myself be with uncomfortableness, I don’t have to be ‘in’ them. I listen to them, acknowledge them, let them be because I’ve found ‘letting go’ sometimes impossible or at least not possible in the moment.
I came back to the fragment almost every day while writing after meditating, but it remained unresolved. So I let the uncomfortable be uncomfortable, coming back to it as I could and then one day I found the resolving verses that I needed, the chord that needed to be played.
Such a tightly wound knot
Which no fingers can untie
Nor razor can cut through
Creates space where there was none
Loosening loops one by one
That slowly ever so slowly dissolve
About the Author
Robert B is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.