Friday, November 17, 2006

Change

Its been very stormy here. I've watched in delight and awe at the high winds making 60 foot trees dance like palm fronds in the hands of children cavorting after church on Palm Sunday. I've listened to the rain pounding my window; record rains that are washing out roads and flooding homes. I live where two rivers meet and every morning I've looked with wonder at the new heights the water reaches, wondering if the State parks that border my home will flood again, as they did in January.
Glorious sunrise (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006
This morning, it stopped raining long enough for the sun to peep through the clouds, creating a golden stage that I fully expected angels to appear upon, blowing their horns. It was so glorious I stopped my car and pulled out my camera and snapped a photo. People looked at me--other drivers, their passengers--they looked at me and they looked in the direction I pointed the camera, looking for what I was photographing, and their faces wore puzzled expressions. I realized that they did not see the sunrise. It made me sad that nature had put on such a gloriously, exquisitely beautiful display for us as a consolation for two weeks of rain, and it went mostly unnoticed.

The trees are still changing. Some still wear green, but many are golden and ruddy, and some look ragged, with their leaves torn from them prematurely, leaving baldspots amongst the colour. At lunch I put on my rain-slicker and my Tevas and went for a walk. And as I walked, I noticed the ground was littered with jewel-toned leaves. I chased the ones recently torn from their trees, gathering them up into my hands, delighted with their singular beauty, each one unique as a snowflake.
Dew drops on autumn leaves (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006
I walked back to the office soaking wet. Cold. Ankles muddy. Hands and nails dark with smears of leaf litter. A colleague held the door open for me, and I grinned at her, filled with a child-like glee, and showed her the treasures in my hands. She shook her head, this woman a dozen years younger than me and said that only I would be chasing leaves in a storm. Her smile was condescending. The leaves were unremarkable to her. She has a whole front-yard full of them, she said.

A conversation with a friend, someone I love deeply, oh so deeply, and whom I miss every day because I seem him so rarely. We talked and I spoke of how pleased I am with the amazing people I am inviting into my life. And we talked of change, and in his frustration he mocked me, stating that perhaps the best way for him to effect change in his life was to "start pretending that everybody in this world is fucking amazing."

That hurt. It brought tears to my eyes. I said, "Its not my place to tell you whether or not you need to grow or change, and it is not my place to tell you how. I am the child, remember? I am the idiot who chases pretty leaves in a storm. And looks like a simpleton grinning ear-to-ear because they are so beautiful to me. But they are just leaves to everyone else, you know. You are a leaf. You are beautiful to me. Perfect as you are. And I don't need you to change in order for me to see you that way. But its silly of me, isn't it? Pretending that there are so many fucking amazing people in my life? They are just people. Just leaves, you know? I find them beautiful and incredible, but to other people they are just people."

He said, "Your people aren't my people, and you seek to find the silver lining in the clouds. You are free to look at people however you like hon. What upsets me is that I feel you are telling me what I cannot do, ie change."

I responded with, "I thought perhaps it would be good for you to try being more like me, to see the possiblity and the beauty in even the littlest thing--I thought maybe if you could see the world from a perspective of change, it would give you hope and pleasure... But I want you to know that I recognize that my child-like enthusiasm for the adventure of both my inner and outer lives is not a paradigm that is for you. And I am trying to apologize for trying to get you to look within and explore the possibilities that changes inside you might create outside you, via a change in attitudes/perceptions."

He said, "Change for the mere sake of change, is a waste of energy. Change, to impact that which brings the most unhappiness in one's life, is meaningful."

I thought for a moment and said, "Indeed. Pity so much technological progress is tied to change for the sake of changing, of trying something new... "

I felt an ache in my solar plexus. I had trouble fitting my mouth around the next words, but I managed. "The truth is I should probably be more like you. Obviously, you only embrace change when it is absolutely necessary. You have your feet firmly planted on the ground and change is something that comes to you, not something you seek. You are perfect as you are. I love you as you are. And as you say you are happy as you are, I am happy, too. You don't often seem so to me, but maybe I need to grow up and live in the real world, like you do. Its rather ugly, it seems, and unhappy, too, but its real."

I see Orange People (c) KR Silkenvoice 2006
There are days like this when I go to bed wondering when the curse of experiencing reality differently will be lifted.

And with that final thought, I'm off to bed to catch a nap. I'll be in California for about 10 days. It will be lovely to see my friends and family.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do you have to stop & look at *every* flower?!?" Uh, yes. Yes, I do.

I hope Cali is good for you.

gabrielle

12:46 AM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger kujmous said...

Who's to say any person's logic is more or less perfect than another's? Why is it not possible for two people to be different and still remain perfect in their own right? Just because one can present a spoken reason with a foundation in logic, that does not mean it is more or less correct. In this world, you have nothing that you have to be other than your perfectly flawed self.

12:13 PM, November 18, 2006  

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