I remember it well—that day when I thought of The Snarly Skeins. I'd been riddled with anxiety and guilt the whole day before and had awoken still riddled with it. It was an old anxiety and an old guilt, coming from old troubles. On this particular day I'd gone down the well-worn path I'd traveled so many times before. Each time, I'd believed that if I just thought everything through really well—maybe even wrote it down and numbered it like an outline—I could make sense of it. But troubles like this can never be thought out well enough or written down clearly enough to make sense of them.
So once again, rather than finding clarity, I'd only gotten more and more knotted up inside. I went for a walk and prayed. This picture came to my mind: a little girl, certain she could untie terrible knots of yarn, but finding each strand just lead to another. How helpless she was to untie those knots! No amount of time would do it. Outside assistance was required. The supernatural kind. The image brought me a lot of comfort and has helped me to recognize life's snarly skeins. No point trying to untie them myself.