A few weeks ago, I woke up with a big snarl in the back of my hair. I am talking the size of my hand--half my head in the back. I have no idea what my dreams were to have caused such a mess. And no matter how much I brushed, I could not get the snarl to go completely away. I would comb/brush until the back of my head seemed smooth, no tangles, and then, a few hours later, I would catch a glimpse of myself somewhere with a big lump on the back of my head. The snarl was back! It's like my hair had a life of its own, winding up and twisting together as I sat at my desk or in a meeting. Each time I found it, I would brush it out. It would reappear. I was plagued with the snarl-lump for two days, and then it was. . . just. . . gone.
This past weekend we purchased a new TV. Since my daughter-in-law moved to another state last week--and she has done everything with technology in our house for the last three years--I was left to be the one to hook up the new TV. It isn't as simple as plugging it in. I had this mass of cords tangled and twisted, some going to the modem, some going to the cable box, and some going to some other box (why do we have so many???). I wasn't even attempting to hook up the DVD or VCR. I finally got the cable to work. Yea! we could watch the game (and it was not even half-time!). Time to order pizza. Oops! I had done something so we didn't have internet or phone. Great. I called Lindsey, and she tried to talk me through solving the problem. This box and that cord and "where did you connect the short black cord?" and "are you sure the phone connection is plugged in?"--something I had neglected earlier. She said to send her a text with a picture of what I'd hooked up to what. (I learned how to attach a photo to a text--I'd only sent pictures with emails before. But now I can't see how to get the photo I took for that to put on here to show the big rats' nest of cables and cords!) Before she could get back to me, I figured it out. But it was a trial. Stressful.
In November I am presenting at NCTE. I am speaking about trends in articles related to writing instruction in English Journal over its last hundred years: what do I see? what patterns? who speaks? who is ahead of the game? what are we still struggling with that was a problem in 1912? So, as part of my preparation, I am reading/reviewing past issues of EJ: 100 years of journals with 8 or more issues a year=a lot of reading and note-taking.
Right now I see my life has a pattern: tangles and messes. All I can do is trust that, like the prior experiences, this one, too, will work itself out. (Well, I actually didn't untangle all the TV cords; I just hid them behind the TV stand. I don't know what that means for my present circumstance.)