I came upon The Ashley Book of Knots when I began reading Annie Proulx’ novel, The Shipping News. She uses quotes from the Book of Knots throughout her novel and explains that she came upon that book, written in 1944, in a yard sale and bought it for a quarter. It inspired her to write a novel which won the Pulitzer Prize for literature. Anyway, she begins her entire novel with a quote from the Ashley Book of Knots and I want you to hear it because I think it might lend us some hope and inspiration as we try to think how we work through the double knottedness of our lives. Here is the quote from the Book of Knots:
In a knot of eight crossings, which is about the average-size knot, there are 256 different ‘over-and-under’ arrangements possible…Make only one change in this ‘over and under’ sequence and either an entirely different knot is made or no knot at all may result.
I had to read that a few times before it sunk in as to why this passage is such a hopeful one. Did you catch it? “Make only one change …and either an entirely different knot is made or no knot at all may result.” Keep this in mind as you meditate and think about your lives this week. You don’t have to solve everything today or this week. But find that one knot, that one sequence, and see if you can’t see unfold an entire series of changes for life, for peace and hope.