Weaving Ways Through Wicked Problems

It’s complicated. Such a telling response when people are asked about a challenging relationship. It has become a widespread meme because it is spot on describe the ins and outs of relationships.

That’s also our world today, super complicated, and full of wicked problems it feels impossible to unravel. We can feel powerless in the face of what occur as insurmountable problems.

Weaving as a metaphor for ways of connecting seems so obvious. We use terms like threads of thought, ideas, and weaving these threads so frequently we most often don’t even notice the reference.

And yet weaving is potentially the most important metaphor of all time.

Indigenous cultures use weaving as a metaphor extensively. In the ancient wisdom of indigenous people, the practical, the spiritual and the intellectual are woven as one.

References to the ways nature weaves eco-systems is deeply entwined in the stories that guide many indigenous cultures.

And in fact all cultures.

Weaving is arguably the oldest technology of human kind. We saw how nature wove, and started to replicate to make structures for food, clothing and shelter.

And even today, every constructed environment we inhabit or use in human built infrastructure is full of woven forms.

The opportunity to explore weaving as a metaphor offers a vast, broad and deep way to navigate complexity, to align our thinking, our actions and our reflections with the twists and turns of woven forms and functions.

Delving into a weaving way enables ‘give and take’ navigation of disparate elements that can come together, and separate, where strands can stand alone for a while, and combine as and where necessary.

A physical weaving that is well constructed has flexibility; too tight and it is constrained, too loose and it does not hold.

Weaving as metaphor can enable us to navigate both the physical and the metaphysical, co-joining elements of our tangible and intangible world.

A shortcoming of humankind today has been to reduce the world to tangible, linear processes that people believe they can define, confine, control and measure.

But in reality, as science and spiritual knowledge around the world is starting to merge and co-mingle, we can see that there is so much that is immeasurable and unfolding in our realities that we would be wise to stay curious about, accepting that human knowledge has only taken baby steps to understand what goes on across this planet, the elements and the ‘space’ beyond our immediate realms.

To weave ways of being and ways of doing, and to be in awe at the opportunities we as humans can have on this intricately beautiful and complex planet is a place for us to stand, to hunt for threads of connections, and to unravel the tangles of our woven world, finding unity in our differences.






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