Sunday, December 6, 2015

Redeeming the Grape Vine

I have long felt that the vine is the serpent of the plant family, if you know what I mean. It's aggressive, invasive, killing. And even after one's husband has cut it out of the orchard that was its victim, and has laid the snake out in the grass for one to wrangle, the vine is still quite difficult to manage.
I grasp the wreath between my knees and manhandle the vine into place.
It's like having a fist fight and a wrestling match with an octopus made of wood. Ugh. But I do enjoy it. The dogs played and sometimes bit the vines as I fought to beat them into lovely submission ... the vines, not the dogs.

Making the wreath is hard on the hands, but the very worst part is trying to separate one long vine (with all its branches) from the other vines and branches as it all lies on the ground in a pile. Their little twisty tendrils have all grasped onto each other. They are extricable, but with great trial. (I've never used "extricable" without its usual prefix!)
As I stood in the middle of about seven long, sinuous vines massed together, working out the trailing ends of the one I wanted, pulling, yanking, untwining, I was struck by the developing metaphor in my hands. Vines are wooden serpents, and such is sin and the sinner -- twisted and nearly inextricable from the sins and sinners around him, bound by it. The little twirly tendrils are the prettiest part of the vine, the thing that will make the wreath beautiful, but when the vines are a mass of tangled sin those tendrils are the problem. How many times do a person's best traits (beauty, talent, personality, wealth) become the gateway into their besetting sins? How often did I break those lovely tendrils off in my exasperation? They were sacrificed so I could get that one vine free from its entanglement with its fellows.
It's not finished; it's not symmetrical, and see that one big piece sticking out? Will I cut it off, or work to integrate it into the wreath?
Maggie gives you some sense of its size, which is 21" across. The larger the wreath, the more difficult the work.
A wreath redeems a little bit of chaos into order, and it's a fight to do so. Clearly, the vine resists! But I enjoy doing it. Otherwise the vines would be burnt, but now they will grace someone's home (I hope) for a while.


  1. It's beautiful; hopefully you wore gloves on your poor hands.

  2. Can they be soaked to soften them? I love the result! :)

  3. The end result is great. And what's more, you have used something which most other people would have either send to the tip or burnt.

  4. What a metaphor you weave with the tendrils. Maybe the thick, hard stump should stay?

  5. A clearly metaphorical post --- and so well done! (The puppy is getting big!)

  6. Good job. I am going to attempt to make one with the vines from HT. Any hints I should know about?
    Great analogy.

  7. The new pup is super cute! I don't want to do anything ouch-y with my hands. I spent the weekend washing them and they get so dry. Just knitting.


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