Posted by: MC | March 18, 2013

Transition – when change seems like all there is

daffodils in sweet light  3-18-13 mmc

daffodils in sweet light 3-18-13 mmc

So this is a photo of transition.  Transition from winter to spring, from dawn to day and, as my photographer friends have taught me, this brief period when the angle of the sun rays relative to the surface of our planet is just so is also a transition they call sweet light.  So here you have it.  Daffodils just past dawn in sweet light on a day in my life when change is just about all I can see.

Change and listening.  That’s what I tend to write about here.  Today I am in the thick of it.  The change part has to do … well, only with my identity.  The details may or may not be forthcoming here in future entries, but for today I’m using this writing to support my survival by casting out with the intention of anchoring myself to reality, by whatever description.

Because this transition feels so very enormous (I’m pretty sure you have a fill-in-the-blank major life change that has been similarly seismic), I’m finding that it’s quite challenging to

  1.  See anything I can count on as a constant, and
  2.  Listen to myself or to anyone else very well.

So, here at this particular moment – here on the cusp between who I’ve been and who I don’t yet know I am (well really I do, but it’s sure not yet fully established in the ‘narrative of me’) – here is a list of things I’m listening to myself about in response to the question, “In all this change, what is it that remains the same?”

You may recognize this as the second of the three questions I asked people about change for the 100 Voices – Americans Talk about Change project.  What became clear to me in 2009 when I was driving around the country asking about American change was that no change can exist without the contrasting presence of constancy.  In complement, no constancy can be understood without the presence of change to make it evident.

So here goes.

  • I just had tea with my friend Jennifer.  For the past 24 years, Jennifer’s friendship has been a constant.
  • I spoke yesterday with my daughter – a constant for 26 years.  I spoke with my mom, too – constant since the instant of my birth.
  • I’m breathing in and out and looking out of these truly amazing (and way easily underrated) eyes.
  • I’m sitting in this body, moving these fingers, about to walk to have a routine mammogram (mixed feelings on the promised weirdness of that annual experience).  All of these features of this form have been with me since birth as well – sustaining constant change as cells industriously fulfill their lives and die in perfect contagion with new cells replacing and dying and being replaced so that the absolute content of this self-same form is completely other than the body that was born to be this life, continuing now into this moment and the next.
  • There’s also something ineffably constant that is aware of the words I’m writing and of the apparent mind authoring them and of you and your reading them.  It’s what is before Alpha and after Omega and all between. It is everything and it is nothing at all.  Of course, that kind of thought is alternately unnerving and vastly comforting all by itself.

Still.  Here in a moment of suspension in the comfort of the constancy of being and non-being, I’ll stopping this listing for now to transition to that walk I mentioned just above.  I’ll shut down and pack up this computer, throw the shoulder strap of my red bag over my shoulder, walk out that door over there, and keep breathing.

In a half hour or so I’ll be walking in the evening-time sweet light, down some streets and through some other doors.  Then I’ll quite likely make a few self-conscious and probably even funny comments to the mammogram technician.

Some things you can count on.

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