Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Too Shall Pass

Change lies within the very nature of existence, its being is to perish, and development is its reality and truth.

Frederick Weiss
Even though in my mind I have grown accustomed to the fact that things change, I'm still often surprised by the changes that take place. There are so many things I expect to remain the way they are, and, of course, they don't because nothing does.

Change seems to go through a cycle of three events, The first is decay and destruction. The second is reorganization and redesign. The third is appearance and ripening. There is usually no definite dividing line between one condition and another, but rather a melting or wedging from one into the other.

We know a seed has to come to rest on the earth, where it is acted upon by the forces of nature. We know that it decays and is destroyed, reduced down to its elemental parts before a new growth can emerge from it.

One day last Autumn I watched a large branch fall off a tree from high up and come crashing to the ground in front of me. The tree did not throw the branch to the ground in a fit of frustration. It simply let go of it when the last vestige of sap, of life, removed itself from the branch. The branch was no longer of any use to the tree, so the tree discarded it. It was gravity that brought it to the ground. The gravity was a different player in this natural drama.

It happened in a cemetery, appropriately. (No, nothing ghoulish, I pass it on my way to the market.) So a groundskeeper soon came and gathered up the branch. If it had happened in a forest the branch would have slowly disintegrated into a primordial dust and become earth itself, breeding ground for another tree.

It's strange but true that human relationships often follow the same patterns. We meet someone we like, we share interests and have a similar view point about things. It ripens into a friendship and over the years that friendship grows as we grow. Then one day something happens. An unexpected event occurs and a certain trust or respect falls away, the bond is broken, the friendship is changed or it's over. But the memories and experiences remain and develop into the ingredients for a new friendship with a different person.

If we fall in love we always think it's a forever thing. But that love affair is constantly being changed as it ripens. The early infatuation and desire for each other's company may develop into a partnership, a coordinated effort at living and finally a close friendship with mutual respect and admiration. Or it may not. It may last no longer than it was meant to last and falls into a state of decay or perhaps even death. At times we try to hold on to a disappearing condition of happiness, when it needs to dissolve into the earth to bring on the regeneration the world needs in our minds and hearts.

No where is the grasping and holding on more severe and dangerous than in the realm of theories and ideas about life. Given that everything is in a constant state of change why do we set up mental barricades against anything that challenges our religious or political beliefs? There is no growth in that behavior no development, no ripening. A scientist would be in a bad state if he jealously protected a theory even when the facts that seemed to confirm that theory were falling off the tree. Fortunately for the scientist and for the rest of us in this forest, we are adaptable.

Things are changing all the time. In our work places, our families, our personal relationships and in ourselves things are not today the way they were yesterday. We must first see where they are, then adapt. And that changes us.

DB - The Vagabond


Beth said...

I've found that although I may lose touch with friends, at least on a day-to-day basis, there are some friendships that are constant. I have friends from college who, every time we see each other, even if it's been several years, it's like we never parted. Life has a way of intruding, but does not diminish. Hugs, Beth

Judith Ellis said...

Change is the only guarantee, eh?

Arlene (AJ) said...

I've been blessed to have the same friends forever with the exception of one that I had no choice but to end our friendship out of respect for my other friends that I treasure. I've accepted that with life it brings changes and you have to go with the flow when this happens and keep moving forward to see what tomorrow brings.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I like the part about growth. Growth is good, but it can also result in change. It is an interesting circle.

Trees said...

Change is what I firmly believe makes us grow and leads us on our journey to where we need to be. The change is not always positive but we learn from the changes hopefully. Friends also throughout our lives sometimes change, for me I have 4 work friends I have known for many years, we dont see each other often but we make it a point no matter where we are in our day to day lives, to meet at least once a year and celebrate our friendship. Even in blog land I see that many I followed have gone and I wonder where they are and if they are well. Again this is a brilliant entry and makes us see that without change our lives would be quite stagnant, thanks again for your wonderful blog DB.