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  • Aram Mitchell

we're all tangled up

The world feels all tangled up. It feels knotted.


Which is different from the world woven together. A woven web of diverse and shimmery strands, or a beautiful braid with each part carefully plaited against the other — that reads like poetry. But a tangled knot is tough, laborious prose.


We’re tangled up. There is so much twist in our world. So much that requires our careful, precise attention.


In downtown Portland there’s an encampment outside of City Hall. A collection of nylon tents and sincere demands and fed up souls scattered on the steps and sidewalks in a display of insistence: Give us space.

Two months ago I stood outside the same City Hall, having marched with thousands through the streets. A collection of voices and bodies and grief and weary souls scattered on the steps in a display of defiance and assertion: Black lives matter.


Each week I gather online with sixty other aching souls who long to curb the status quo of American over-consumption and of profit-driven policies that wreck the commons of the air we breath, the water we gulp, the fruits we gather, the places we live.

And a virus. And incompetency. And arrogance. A moral crisis of what it means to be a leader in this world so easily dominated by the misplaced fears of a misinformed public.


Southern Maine has been sticky with heat in recent weeks. Then yesterday the skies clouded and winds began to brew, began to move the heat of recent days, to stir up the stickiness of the hot and exhale it back out over the water. The tops of the trees were tickled by the stir, bearing witness to the movement in the air.

We’re all tangled up. But you can feel, if you turn your cheek to the spirit of the mess, some of the tangles start to loosen. And you can wonder, if you tune your heart to the wisdoms of the strands, how the web might be woven.


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