Untying the Gordian Knot
One day, according to ancient Greek legend, a poor peasant called Gordius arrived with his wife in a public square of Phrygia in an ox cart. As chance would have it, so the legend continues, an oracle had previously informed the populace that their future king would come into town riding in a wagon. Seeing Gordius, therefore, the people made him king. In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his ox cart to Zeus, tying it up with a highly intricate knot - - the Gordian knot. Another oracle -- or maybe the same one, the legend is not specific, but oracles are plentiful in Greek mythology -- foretold that the person who untied the knot would rule all of Asia.
The problem of untying the Gordian knot resisted all attempted solutions until the year 333 B.C., when Alexander the Great -- not known for his lack of ambition when it came to ruling Asia -- cut through it with a sword. "Cheat!" you might cry. And although you might have been unwise to have pointed it out in Alexander's presence, his method did seem to go against the spirit of the problem. Surely, the challenge was to solve the puzzle solely by manipulating the knot, not by cutting it.
Keith Devlin, Mathematician
Silence numbs the small circle of women. Monica’s words have knocked the collective breath out of our flesh and bones. So many levels of pain, so many pieces of the puzzle added to the game board, so many familiar violations endured and described in one fell swoop. The words strike like a backdraft. Constantly deprived of being heard, oxygen to our souls, invisible to those who should care and with the results ending in a fatal explosion that burns everyone surrounding the fire lit by the perpetrator, the only one left standing and unharmed.
With each question TGD asks of the group members, the sadness and perverseness of what we have endured builds. “Who should bear the shame”? “Who should bear the blame”? “Certainly not the victim, but all those who took part in these heinous acts and those who stood by and let it happen.”
As TGD continues I try and concentrate on what she is proclaiming but a sorrow so deeply embedded transports me outside of myself once again and all I see before me is a circle not of women bound together, but of rope with knots representing each one of us. We are all tied together in combined terror. The only thing connecting us is the rope of our combined trauma, shame and fear . With each question TGD poses, the aggregated knots gets tighter and tighter, the silent pain being squeezed to death.
Where is my sense of humor now? Where is that escape I have used so often to disguise my real existence? As the knot gets tighter, less air and light enter and hope gives way to the encroaching darkness.
I then see my life as a succession of knots, many still intertwined around themselves, some cut off, some burned, and some festering. I am unable to get my fingers in between the thick tightly woven threads.
Someone has to help. Undo this mess, untie these knots loosen the grip that has forced me into this unyielding position I’ve gotten myself into. Whatever direction I turn, the knot gets tighter and tighter until I am paralyzed in place where it doesn’t hurt anymore. Just a chronic ache.
So I turn, in trust to TGD who has the nimble healing hands and delicate gentle fingers to help unravel these Gordian knots of 50+ years.