Years ago, we had a carpet in our family room that had a loose thread.  If you pulled on the thread, the rug would start to unravel in a perfect straight line up the seam.  I could see where this was going all the way to the end of the room. The rug was coming apart  before my  eyes.  Unraveling deconstructs.

On the other hand, a napkin unfolds.  Let’s say it is folded into thirds.  As you open up each third, you see more of the napkin and eventually, its totality.  Unfolding reveals wholeness.

Each is a process that gets to the bottom of something.  Unraveling allows pieces of a whole to break away and be understood and reformed.  It is often preceded by chaos.

Unfolding is contemplative and happens step by step.  It is often preceded by clarity.

Both of these processes are valuable for us.

The truth is, sometimes we have to unravel before we can unfold.