Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

reinvent []:  to remake or make over, as in a different form (verb)

So I have this theory that only one person at a time in any given household should be able to reinvent themselves.  This would make the reinvention process so much smoother and less tumultuous - with a band of stable, self-aware people surrounding the one being reinvented, it would provide a safe place to emerge into whatever that person is becoming.  Then that wonderful circle of on-lookers would fully celebrate the new person before them. 

Of course, all this sounds wonderful in the pristine, sterile laboratory where theories abound and are applauded with no regard for the messy, dirty real-life world outside the "idealism" space.  

Practically speaking, this means that through a child's teenage years, mom and dad must be thoroughly mature and there had better be no mid-life issues either.  Also, if there is more than one young adult in the family, they had better discuss who will do the reinventing first and who will wait for their sibling to be done.  It also means no job changes, no change in economics, no births or deaths, no commotion, and certainly no emotion at the reinvention process.  (Are you laughing yet??)

Truly, that is not the picture of my life, my household, or life as I know it.  The reinvention of one person causes the reinvention of another...and it is not always a totally creative process.  There is destruction, confusion and letting go involved too.

Even on small scale things, reinvention is a process that forces us to see what we are attached to and why we won't let it go.  I am in the process of "re-branding" my logo, and my graphic designer (lovely as she is!) is pushing my buttons!!  Why?  Because she is revealing to me the concepts I need to let go of - that have served me well to this point - in order to embrace a new "look" for myself.  (And this is just about fonts, and lines, and much more difficult is it to face this on the larger issues in my life?!?!)

I actually imagine as people of growth, movement and change, there is reinvention happening on the small scale all the time in our lives.  But it can be difficult because it can cause destruction and leave an empty place before anything starts to grow again.  I remember as a kid, our family spent a good amount of time in Hawaii.  When we were there, I always wanted to go see the volcanoes.  The steam, heat, and flowing lava impressed on me that this was a destructive force to be respected...but as lava dropped into the ocean, it was also creating a part of the island that had never existed before.  That is both scary and exciting all at once...and so is a time of reinvention inside of us.

I think Lewis Caroll had it correct when he had Alice have a conversation with the caterpillar:

Caterpillar: Who... are... you?
Alice: Why, I hardly know, sir. I've changed so much since this morning, you see...
Caterpillar: No, I do not C, explain yourself.
Alice: I'm afraid I can't explain myself, you see, because I'm not myself, you know.
Caterpillar: I do not know.
Alice: I can't put it any more clearly, sir, because it isn't clear to me.

Sometimes we cannot explain ourselves because the change happening is so quick that it isn't even clear to us what is going on.  Sometimes the change (or reinvention) is slow and feels like trying to walk through a field of thick, spring mud...and it still isn't clear to us!  But reinvention and growth are good...and difficult...and amazing...and fear-producing all at once. It forces us to let go of things we hold too tightly to, see a creative destruction, and to walk in mystery. 

May we allow change and reinvention to come to us as we walk through life.  May we not fight or fear it, but endure its hardship for the greater creative process happening in us.  May we be OK saying "I can't put it any more clearly...because it isn't clear to me."  May we smile at the mystery.

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

1 comment:

Erin McFarland said...

i love your way with words Tara. This was refreshing to my soul tonight. thanks friend. i'm excited to see your new logo and all the reinvention that is coming! and that last photo is killer amazing! xoxo