You just can’t think too deeply about it

Think about the work that goes into tying your shoelaces. It calls for physical exertion, dexterity, and cleverness, any child between the ages of six and nine years old knows it, early in life it is a serious matter, the bow the greatest mystery, the fingers, the hands, the laces, altogether an apparently unsolvable riddle. But once you have mastered it, you forget how complicated it is, the years pass until one day—having put your socks on—you look down at your feet, unsure of how to proceed.

Linn Ullmann, ”Unquiet: A Novel” (W. W. Norton & Company, January 15, 2019)


Notes: Photo titled Self Perfection by Randy’sPhotography

Comments

  1. the circle of life

    Like

  2. Words of wisdom and so true agree totally with your beautiful words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was an unsolvable riddle for me for the longest time. A nightmare is more like it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You start scaring me, David. This past Monday, we had a vivid discussion with mother-in-law about the wonder and difficulty of ‘being able to lace one’s shoes’….. MiL is now at an age where she has great difficulties to lace hers so she’s going ‘back’ to looking for walking shoes with her insoles being comfy, NOT UGLY, and with velcro instead of laces. At the same time I discussed with a teacher-friend how important those first BIG learnings are for a child, to be able to tie their shoes and that with all the velcroed sneakers etc they lag behind….. isn’t it really intruiging, to read about this at the same time – and pointing it out?! Isn’t it wonderful too that we can spend some of our hurried, precious time on ‘little things’ like speaking about learning to tie your shoelaces?! I love Linn Ullmann more by the minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    So true … reminds me of my grandkids!! … ‘Think about the work that goes into tying your shoelaces. It calls for physical exertion, dexterity, and cleverness, any child between the ages of six and nine years old knows it, early in life it is a serious matter, the bow the greatest mystery, the fingers, the hands, the laces, altogether an apparently unsolvable riddle.’

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pancreatic cancer took my best fiend recently.I’m grieve the loss. But this morning’s quote softens the blow just a bit. Wayne’s greatest fear was that he would follow his father’s steps into Alzheimer’s. He could still tie his shoelaces — a reason to be grateful. Maybe.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Reblogged this on Views from the Edge.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Last one in my kindergarten class to learn to tie my shoes. The advantage being that I got special attention from a cute girl who taught me to tie my shoes. Life lesson, make something out of knowing nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Scary! This excerpt is so “on the mark” that I had to read it aloud to the Captain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My nephew started running Ultras about 8 years ago. Then he got the cancer, and became the darling of the running community in NW Arkansas. He died last summer.
    They are having a Memorial Run for Dave in two weeks, varying distances and times. I am going to run a 5K. I’m supposed to have been training to run the 5k. But I haven’t. One of the things holding me back is lacing up my tennis shoes. I’ve reached a shape that it hurts to try to do so. So this afternoon I’m going down the the Sketchers outlet right next to my office and buying some Velcro shoes that I wont have to bend over and hold my breath for so long in order to lace them up.
    Its complete surrender , I know, and probably wont even increase the odds that I will begin “training” for my scheduled 5K.
    I don’t know if I ever shared this with you. Probably I have. Davy was an unusual fellow.
    http://epicultras.com/featured-runner-dave-renfro-april-2016/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The things you lose with dementia is interesting. I have problems tying my shoes now, some days I feel like a kid learning. It doesn’t bother me, I just noticed last week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Heartbreaking

    Liked by 1 person

  13. whether to be in a funk about it or not…is the question…I’m feeling grief about my current bodily decrepitude–cataract surgery required…feel the anger, and acceptance… The shoe laces–I loved watching my youngest son in nursery school teach a playmate who was somewhat handicapped (now that boy is a handicapped man)…thinking we’re all handicapped…Dang! and this was only about children learning to tie shoelaces!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So very true how we take things for granted. I don’t remember learning how, quite frankly. Guess it didn’t give me enough grief to be part of my memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Anonymous says:

    Difficult topic…memories of limitations…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Anonymous says:

    current limitations as well

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dave, Not a problem since the invention of Velcro! Just like mastering basic math is a lost art with the invention of calculators and computers. But, what happens when the power goes out or the worn Velcro no longer holds?
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks

  1. […] before reading and re-publishing Linn Ullman’s lines about memory and the loss of it (“You just can’t think too deeply about it”), one of the four remaining classmates of what we have called The Chicago Seven, The Gathering, and […]

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