Tuesday, March 5, 2013

on becoming

i think we all have those moments that hit us never in expectation. something is said, and we reply as we may have replied many a time, but for this time, we pay attention to our words. it's like when you catch your reflection in another mirror's reflection, and you're inopinate because while you see yourself all the time, you never get to look directly at that side of yourself. and suddenly you aren't as familiar as you thought you were. 
why did i say that?
when did i start feeling this way?
i don't remember always being like this.
i amaze myself with the change in me. i am in awe of the capacity of a person to metamorphose over time. ever so slowly through changes that seem not too far from the original being until time is over and the original being has gone. i will never lose my reverence for the sentiments of Henri Bergson:

"We are seeking only the precise meaning that our consciousness gives to this word "exist," and we find that for a conscious being, to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. "

i credit many circumstances and individuals as the hands that i allowed to shape my mind. my mother is the unconventional sort who rebels against boundaries and lives for the loopholes of rules. perhaps this is part of why i never accept them without understanding them. it is not in my nature to rebel, intrinsically, but rather to question. the world is bounteous in beauty and enchantment and allure, and my chimera involves all of these whisking me into them. but the world also brings disillusionment and egos for ill-gain. and the faces for these often emulate one another. i fear more than anything being ruined because i chose to trust. because i chose to shut my mind to all the possibilities to the what-ifs that could have warned me. and that is why i inquire. i credit my professor for broadening my perception of the passion of a female voice, and her husband for revealing the ways my words make me. i credit the mistakes of those before me as my measure. i credit my father for my belief in living truth above speaking it. i credit the one with whom i may never be on speaking terms again for for my utmost happiness, and the one i know will be sitting next to me as we knit and drink french press coffee as old ladies for the same. i credit this generation of thinkers and doubters and questioners and artists and makers for how i wish to live my every day. 

i changed. the one i was and the one i am are not the same, though we are. we remember each other, and we do not get to stay together. 

i have to say how the truth of change blesses me. how refreshing to know that when we have reached the end of ourselves there is more ground to tread, and it is therefore not the end. how refreshing it is to know that when we have made such a mess of our days and we want to escape ourselves, we can! i am not the person i was ten years ago or even five years ago, and i can say with as much certainty i will not be the same person in the next five or ten years. and to watch the change happen within us is just as fascinating as watching the change happen outside of us. i have understood the notion and the necessity of social justice and caring for the lowly more than i ever have before, and that has some to do with my growth, but it has much to do with the changing world around me. the rise in number of days of service and the spread of occupations such as my own bring excitement and inspiration and the thought that maybe things really can be better. and even in the changes that are not as inspirational, i wonder for the good in them. i am marrying in a time when it seems everyone around me is unmarrying. and i wonder. for the tragedy that breaks the heart and the family in two is unforeseen, until it has passed. and then it was seen coming all along. i wonder at the paradox of my heart finding a home in the midst of all others searching for shelters. i wonder what this means for me and for the world. i feel gratitude for the paths my life brought me through, and i pray i will always say that. i pray for them to say that as well. for our stories begin and end. and we can't say how or why. but just as spring opens, touching skilfully, mysteriously, her first rose, i wait for light to open in these other lives. i want their stories to be sense to them. and i wish them to know that gratitude for change that i hope to always know.

i feel an end approaching as the next two months close in on me. and i say goodbye with bittersweetness. it's always sad to see a dear friend leave for good. but somehow another makes her way into your world, and she becomes the person you never knew you needed. and she so overwhelms your life, you forget the hole left by the last visitor, as if there were never a hole to begin with. i am excited to meet this new girl. i hope she becomes my life with all pleasantness and patience as the ones before her.

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