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Tangled Memories

Tangled Memories

Do you ever hear a song on the radio and are instantly brought back to a moment in time? There is a line in one of my favorite songs, “..Funny how a melody sounds like a memory” and whether those memories are good or bad, I have always appreciated a songs ability to take me back in time. Recently, I have realized that tiles and tangles have that same ability.

I have been working in a new journal lately, but recently I grabbed an old one by accident to bring home with me for the weekend. As I flipped through the pages, I noticed that there were tangles and tiles that sparked all kinds of memories. Some were good memories... my pages filled with one specific tangle and I remember that “A-ha!” moment when I finally got it. The tile I created in the airport one my way to my Honeymoon. Pages I filled in the back of the room at a CZT seminar or during a trip to Europe.


However, the pages that really stood out to me were the ones that sparked some not so good memories. There was the tile that immediately brought me back to the plane ride to my Grandfathers funeral. The tile from when a loved one was in the hospital and I was waiting for an update. There were pages of mooka, huggins and marasu, my comfort tangles which I was looking for comfort in. Although there were no words on these pages, they told a story of a particularly difficult time I was going through, there was even a page where my work was unfinished, and I remember the news I received that moment that made me stop tangling.


I “read” each page of tangles and tiles; each line and curve, every shade of gray, every stroke, and I thought about all the different memories that they held. Although some of them were sad memories, I was not filled with sadness. I was reminded of all those feelings that brought me to put pen to paper; sadness, anxiety, frustration, but more importantly, how they did not last. That each of these pages held lessons that I learned along the way and I was filled with a sense of calm and of peace, and resiliency.

So, I turned to a blank page in the journal and filled it with tangles, knowing that when I look back at this page, it will fill me with the memory of a warm summer day and a smile on my face, which is only fitting since the next line in the song is “Like the soundtrack to a July Saturday night.”


Julie Willand


  • Your sharing is touching. Thank you.

    Paulette Kirschensteiner on

  • Such a beautiful and true post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and tangles with us. Our tanglings almost form a wordless diary. Which always makes me smile when I think of paintings on cave walls – people recording in simple image the everyday truths of their lives. I have tiles drawn on difficult days, and sometimes I think they are the most precious ones, because something good happened despite the difficulty.

    Jem on

  • Such a lovely story, Julie. A reminder that’s life is made of good times and sad times but the next step in time can always be a good one!

    Sally Poor on

  • Nothing can be more true for Zentangle.

    Each tile represents a moment in time which can never return. Not only does it record the “NOW” as it happens but it can jerk us back to that time, good or bad, in a nano moment.

    And we are NOTHING as human beings without our invaluable memories.
    Memories are what make us, they define who we are. Theycontain our experiences so poignantly that these difficult or golden moments become our newer layer of our cozier bed of experiences. Enabling us to live our lives in a deeper and more enriching manner.

    Thank you Julie for a very profound post…..
    lots of food for thought.
    And to my respected teachers:Rick and Maria my heartfelt 💖for their creativity and hard work in sharing Zentangle with us CZTs AND the world at large.

    Binaifer Karanjia on

  • Thanks for the words of wisdom Julie … I think I do sometimes spill out my emotions in tangles. I find though that sometimes as intense as it was at the time … when I revisit them later I can see and process it all with fresh eyes and heart. Thanks for bringing this to light.

    Molly on

  • Love your story Julie. Thank you for sharing. It is so inspiring.

    Karin Godyns on

  • Julie, such a heartfelt post with which I can identify. The tangled memories of the events in our lives, the happy ones and those touched with sadness. xx ❤

    Jo Quincey on

  • Thank you so much Julie for this wonderful post. It touched my soul ….

    Nadine Roller on

  • Beautiful post Julie…beautiful as you are! ❤️

    Donna Jacobson on

  • Beautiful in so many ways. Thank you Julie for always being a ray of sunshine 💕

    Brenda Shaver CZT 8 on

  • The idea of doing a small piece of art everyday has appealed to me for a long time. I think doing a Tangle would be manageable for me. Thank you.

    Valerie Hess on

  • That was so enlightening. How true, makes me want to do more tangling on the go as a diary of events. Thank you Julie.

    Yvonne Rein on

  • i just received very sad news and I was tempted to pick up my zentangle right before I read this post. With hope comes the cherished anticipation of the positive. Thank you! Thank you! Zentangle is all ABOUT the positive. Thank you Julie for the “written hug” you sent my way!

    Donna Danowski on

  • What a poignant post Julie, very powerful to those going through difficult times at the moment and the hope it can give.

    Chrissie on

  • Sweet post, Julie. Thank you. On another note of feedback. the recent blogposts have April dates on them. :)

    Georgianna Klein on

  • Thanks for this, Julie – so beautifully said!

    Carol Graham CZT12 on

  • I am also in the process of organizing and with it comes time to revisit, reflect and reinvigorate my practice. Julie, thank you for sharing.

    Lesli Laychak-Rendall on

  • I was just cleaning and reorganizing my tangle space and had to pause for quite awhile to look at old journals and tiles…such fun…i should do that more often. I found it inspiring at had to force myself to keep ’working instead of ’playing and tangling.

    Lisa Anderson on

  • Julie,
    What an amazing…

    Jody Genovese on

  • This says to me “Hope”

    LaJuania Dorman on

  • How wonderfully descriptive of Zentangle!

    Fran Coffland on

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