Life is a series of connections. Invisible strings stretching from person to person outward over great distances.

Even as a young teenager I recognized the string of my soul mate. As his string was pulling me to him, it was a relief to find my destined best friend at the end of that string. I am so lucky to have found him early in life. Strings connect my children to me too; even though I witnessed the umbilical cord being cut I was comforted to still feel them near me. An automatic and enduring string they have, resilient to the most weathered circumstances.

My family has such hearty strings as well. My parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents and extended family are all there, strings pouring out of me.

I love the strings, but I get lost in them. I get overwhelmed. “What a mess” I sometimes think and want to tidy all those strings and bundle them up or at least organize them a bit better. I feel them spread around me so tightly that I am afraid I will choke from the emotion woven into them. So many strings I lose track of them. What are these extra strings doing scattered around? What is their use? Will I ever get to see where those strings connect? I think I will go mad with the confusion of it all. Can I tie all these strings up in a bow and give them to someone who needs them more that me? When I try, the strings just get longer. They connect to more people and I feel like a greedy little spider.

The web I am weaving is unbelievable.

I don’t know how the strings I have for my friends found me. I don’t know if they orchestrated a sneak attack or the other way around. I can’t even remember the day I discovered their strings. Were they always there, waiting for me to pick though my tangled mess to find them? When I meet a new friend I soon find that I have a shiny new string spinning thicker as time goes by. I have friends I made strings for a long time ago, but when I stopped seeing them they never cut their end of the string. The string is still there.

I feel that something is still connected to the end of it, so I leave it be for now. When I meet an old friend I smile to find them bringing the end of their string over to me, not to give back, of course, but to show me they kept holding on to their end for me all this time. I am honored and humbled to see it. Those sticky strings!

Even as I sit in a pile of what seems to be a mad knitter’s paradise I can’t seem to let any of my ends of these strings go. Even the ones I think I don’t need or want. Too bad they are not real strings. I then could I maybe make a blanket with them? A fashionable ladies scarf?

I was surprised to find that as people I loved got older their string became a stronger connection to mine. When they died the only comfort I had was that the string was now too strong to sever, too overpowering to break. And when I miss the people who are gone I have only to send a tug on that string and feel an echo in response. While I sleep I feel them in the palm of my hand and the back of my mind, whispering soothing sounds of regret that they cannot physically be present. When I wake up I feel all my strings wrapped around me as if every connection I have has enveloped me in one big hug.

Feliz anivers�rio vov� Machado. Eu me lembro dos abra�os.

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