you & me



{Photo via Tumblr}

{M.C. Escher – source}

Go ahead. Fall the fuck apart.

The idea that we are supposed to keep it all together every minute of every day forever and ever is what’s insane. By contrast, falling apart occasionally is normal. But then, modern society is kind of bat-shit crazy if you think about it.

There is an expectation for us to perpetually multitask our minds out every moment, to work smart for 50, 60, or 70 hours a week, and to raise our children to be whole human beings, all while we keep our relationships healthy, maintain sustainable friendships, stay fit enough to compete with our magazine-cover ideas of ourselves, grow our own food, give back to our communities through volunteer work, and still have enough of a life for metime.

Does that sound sane?

Of course not. So go ahead, unravel.

What’s in a word?

Sometimes, too much.

In the world in which we find ourselves, the word unravel sounds an awful lot like unstable, untrustworthy, unsound, undependable. But it doesn’t have to. If we can just unthink for a minute. And rewrite a little.

What about the word unwind instead? Go ahead, try it. Unwind. Untangle. Undo. See, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. We all find ourselves too bound occasionally by the things, places, people, attachments, and other insanities of modern life. What else is there to do, then but untie the knot?

Go on, let go and let yourself untwist.

And maybe unshout.

Just because you’ve gotten yourself all worked up into knots is no reason to stay that way. I’m not saying cut the rope. Although sometimes, if the knots are too tangled, that’s not a bad option.

What will people say?

Probably some will say what you think they’ll say: Oh my, look at that. He’s come undone. She’s lost her mind. They’re nuts. Because that’s how it goes. That’s how we’re programmed. Can you believe it, he fell off the hamster wheel? What a shame.

But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to those things. Much less believe them. We need to set about collectively unlearning the meaning of some words. Unusing them. And then, rewriting how we talk to each other.

Who knows? I’m willing to bet there are more than a few folks out there who will wish they’d thought of it. They’ll wish they had the courage to untie themselves. To spin out of control a little. To fall into a little yard sale of their own.

And then…

Once the untwisting is finished, and things are still, and a bit unorderly, to be sure, what’s next? Maybe just let things lay there for a while. It isn’t like falling on the ice. You don’t have to jump right back up and pretend/hope nobody saw. Stretch out. Relax. Soak up some sunshine.

It isn’t a race. And there’s no trophy waiting for you at some imaginary finish line for your supreme skill at being inhuman. What’s waiting is likely a massive coronary, a blinding stroke, panic attacks, or a room with extra padding.

Sure, eventually you’ll probably need to get back up, dust yourself off, and start again. But hopefully you won’t start right back where you left off. Hopefully you’ll try a little something different. Like more books, less screens. Less money, more time. More sandals, less suits.

Can’t I just stay?

For a while, maybe longer. I’m guessing that eventually you’ll probably want to start creating your next design. Lest you forget how to weave altogether. This time, though, try not to use so much material. Try not to make it so tight. Take a few strands, leave a few.

You can always unwind again. You can always change out colors and textures. And it’ll be easier to do, the less complicated you make it.

I know this sounds easy. I know it feels hard. I know you think these are pretty words, but it’ll never work. Well, maybe it’ll work for someone else. But not you. Not now. But why not try? If enough of us say Enough, the world starts to change. If enough of us unravel, it starts to be okay.

And unraveling becomes a thing that you just do.

Show off.

Not that you’ve untied and untwisted. Now that you’ve shaken loose all the threads you didn’t need. It’s time for show-and-tell. Go on, strut your new stuff. Walk the walk, turn the turn. Go on, tempt us.

Let us all see your new colors.




{There is no ground.}


Thomas Qualls

Thomas Qualls

Writer. Novelist. Essayist. Attorney. Artist.
Thomas Lloyd Qualls is a writer -- a condition that is apparently incurable. He manages his condition, in part, by regular contributions to Rebelle Society and to Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine. He's also a novelist, an essayist, a videographer, a painter, a bike rider, and through his law practice -- a sometimes salvager of troubled lives. 'Waking Up at Rembrandt’s', his debut novel, has received local and national critical acclaim. The second edition of the novel is available in print (think of vinyl, only for books) and on multiple e-version platforms. There’s also a book of poetry, 'Love jaywalks', available everywhere e-books are sold. Still on the horizon: a collection of essays, some new paintings, and a second novel, 'Painted oxen', due out soon. In the meantime, you can visit his website whenever you like for more of his stuff.
Thomas Qualls
Thomas Qualls
Thomas Qualls

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