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You Can’t Push on a Rope

I was gifted with a wonderful book, over 600 pages of quotations and sayings from different cultures and important historical/religious figures. I could get lost in the book, read everything, and then start over reading it again.

Here is an Iranian/Persian Proverb:

You can’t push on a rope.

Wow. All the determination in the world can’t make something be what it is not. Love this idea.

Here is a Basque Proverb:

Things used to be that way, now they’re this way, and who knows what they will be like later.

There is no room for “we’ve always done it that way” if you keep this proverb in mind. And isn’t it so true?

We change, and we don’t see those changes except in extreme times. Yet, I sit here and reflect on who I was as a teen, as a young woman, as a divorcee, as an employee, computer consultant, artist/musician. I could not have seen this life coming if I had wanted to.

Mae West said:

Your real security is yourself. You know you can do it, and they can’t ever take that away from you.

Yeah, sister! One of the most wonderful gifts in my life was being single for a chunk of years in my 30’s. I learned to figure things out, to make things work when I wasn’t sure how to do it at the start. I call this “Rescuing Myself.”

Sometimes rescuing myself was going to the junkyard to get a part for my old car, with a screwdriver and the knowledge of what a brand new part might cost.

And telling the parts sales guy (after going out in the muddy field to get the part and unscrew it from the junker out there) that if he was going to charge me 80% of the cost of a new one, I’d just go to the dealer and buy new. He changed his price by a vast percent, so that I wouldn’t duck out. Victory!

Sometimes rescuing oneself is finding a friend or ally who can do what you can not. Admitting the need for a hand is humbling… but people often like helping.

Humble Rescuing Oneself

The dumbest thing I ever did when I was single, was buy a metal kitchen table and try to take it up 4 steps solo. I could not do it by pulling from the top, so I got underneath and lifted and pushed. Less than halfway up, I realized that I’d done a very unwise thing, and I really did not want to get clobbered by a metal table flying down the stairs.

In the end, I got the table in and I did not get hurt. I did get scared first, and wiser second. Now I know that there are some things I just need to do with a friend. Give in, let go of that ego/pride, and ask.

You can’t push a rope. Wowie. Something like trying to herd cats? Nailing Jello to a wall? I want to contemplate all the ways this saying might be interpreted.

The image today is a drawing I did in crayon as a tiny little girl. Notice that I drew noses with nostrils… when you’re a lot shorter than adults, you see their nostrils.

Speaking of different states of how we are/who we are during the course of time… I was a little thing once. The essence even then was *ColorJoy!* I don’t know how I got a magenta crayon (Mom would typically buy 8 colors to be frugal) but I clearly gravitated to it at an early age. Thanks for saving the drawing, Mom!

One Response to “You Can’t Push on a Rope”

  1. kathy b Says:

    Love this saying and have never heard it before.  THe saying that I recalled this morning in a grove while we put kayaks on the car: Leaves of 3 remember me…
    (leaves of 3 were everywhere…..I dont think they were poison ivy though…..)

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