by Thom Barron

A shoelace.
Gets tied up around itself in knots.
Confusion for the knot,
but for the tyer,
there is a purpose.

The know only knows what it can see of itself.
Yes, it goes on straight for a few centimetres...
But oh dear, it's caught under itself
a while down the road.
What happens after that?
Who knows?
Who cares?

The tyer knows the purpose.
The two intertwined ends of ribbons
wrap around here, cinch upon itself there
All to form a durable structure.
The structure has a purpose, too.
Holding the sides of a shoe together
is a big deal.

In an ideal world,
the laces would never tangle.
They would never collect dirt, or mud.
They would never become untied,
and then stepped on by the shoe.
They would say in place,
doing their job,
and nothing else.

But ideal situations do not exist.
There is no all-powerful tyer to speak of.
The shoelaces are on their own, perhaps starting off tied,
or loose and dangling.
The shoelaces, if anything is to be done about their predicament,
must find their place in the world.
Whether the shoelace should be tied,
or free of itself,
that is entirely up to the shoelace itself,
and must be debated, and wisely decided.

A shoelace should know its place in the world.

However, there is not much deciding to be done,
for a shoelace, being simply an object,
cannot move itself, or tie itself, or untie itself.
Only the mind, or the movement of the shoe,
or some ideal "tyer,"
can change anything about the shoelace.
The shoelace is stuck, being manipulated
by outside events,
nothing of its own doing matters.

Not that its existence matters at all.
It is a shoelace.
What is the consequence of its threads
being taken apart, or it being outright
Not any consequence. That's how much.
None of the runners care.
Or the shoes, or even the other shoelaces.