ribbons and bows

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I wish that mistakes were like bows, whose ends I could pull to undo. They would fall simply into the straight, unblemished and shiny beauty of a ribbon.

But even then, mine would be a tangled mass whose bows were looped and overlapped and tucked into others. I would sit, trying to untangle the mess, only to create new knots.

But mistakes are not ribbons and bows. They are more like rocks dropped in a lake. The ripples of waves fan out, rocking boats I didn’t know where nestled in nearby and unseen coves. They are determined, those waves. There is no blocking them. To do so often creates other sets of ripples.

It is a disheartening kind of futility. The only thing you can do is stop dropping rocks and let the lake’s surface rest. But for some reason, I just choose smaller rocks instead. Maybe, I think, the ripples will be smaller.

Mistakes are not something you can dabble in, just tasting. They are something to learn from. If only I was a faster learner. I am like a child who never learns to tie his shoes despite dozens of tries and runs around tripping on the flapping laces.

I marvel sometimes at God’s patience with me. When it comes to the rocks I toss in, sometimes he calmly chooses to settle the waves with his palm, while others he lets them roll. I must be a endlessly frustrating and heartbreaking daughter. I’m the child with the rebellious streak whose stubborn traces resist fading.

I wish I could finally hand over the rocks instead of clinging to my fistfuls. For now, the smooth and heavy feel of them in my hands is strangely comforting and familiar.


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