Change Gonna Come...
I was realizing yesterday how much everything and nothing changes in a stretch of days. The weeks unfurl in front of me and I am amazed by how much they are the same, yet different all the time. The increments of change are minute and expansive. What else happens in my life that is both at all times, something tiny and almost imperceptible AND sweeping?
My life is pretty routine...I get up and do the same things in the pretty much the same order every day. I go to work, I parent, I eat, try desperately to get some exercise. I go to bed. And from one lens my life ticks along, nothing great and nothing all that interesting. But while all of that has been going on every single day, punctuated by weekends that have a tenor and pace all their own, my life has changed drastically. Internally I am rearranged. I am not the same at all. I am so different that if I could somehow artistically represent the change in my inner landscape it might be the difference of changing a Monet into a Warhol! That is how different I feel even since just last Fall.
It leaves me wondering if I need the stability of the daily grind to do the inner work, or what if the daily churning of responsibilities and tasks, really only impedes greater progress. I am on a quest to be sure. Having realized that I am lucky enough to be granted passage to the top of the pyramid, self actualization is now a duty. I feel a debt is owed to all of those people who never make it here to do the work. To write it down. To attempt to add something meaningful to the collective consciousness. Lofty? Probably. Grandiose? I will leave that up to you.
My life is pretty calm, my children add their own creative and dramatic flair but even that is fairly benign (for the moment) and routine. They challenge me daily but the demands routine and expected. There are days when the task of parenting seems a large ask, then there are days when I am so fucking grateful to have the kids I have! The only real thing that shifts is my perspective. And perhaps that is what is operating in my life all the time. The shifting sands of my mind, view the landscape of my life differently...all the time.
Change is gonna come. And it is gonna do me good. And it is going to fuck me up. That is in fact change’s job. To allow us to become so reliant upon its discrete presence in our lives that we live almost in unrecognizable parity. And are shocked and offended when we are knocked off course by change’s seemingly sudden departure from the norm. But if we are paying attention and I often am not, I will see that change is constant. There is no moment like this one right now, oops now it is gone and we are in the next...
Can I even wrap my mind around it? Only momentarily then I have to surrender to the moment and get on with it. And change becomes a force unaware in my life again, operating in the backdrop, seemingly uninterested in my schemes and designs. Then all of sudden, like a child too long ignored, change whallops me good.
Upon reflection, change is just part of my life. All the time whether I want to deal with it or not. I’m constantly changing, and so is everything else. If I really focus on that, I can and will become overwhelmed. So I tend to ignore it into the backdrop of my life, so that I can get on with the business of thinking I know things. I can predict things. But in truth, all I have is right here over and over again.
My daughter leaves for camp for a week today and I am missing her already. Her presence in my life, her routines and life intertwined with mine. I can already feel the pain of absence. And it kind of panics me...what will my life be like in four years when she launches into her own life? My son and I will muddle through. But it poses a larger question that I did not really see coming...what in the fuck am I going to do when they are both gone? I have been so long in the parenting trenches that I seemingly deluded myself into thinking that the current would be the always.
In the immortal words of Sam Cooke, Change is gonna come for us all. And it has been a long time coming. Are we ready? Really? Change is a fickle bitch, never really bringing us what we hope, when we wish for it. I am sure Mr. Cooke would be aghast at how long the civil rights movement has taken, to only be where we are today. His song that was full of hope in the 60s hurts today when reviewing how much has not changed. But like Mr. Cooke, we can all believe in the change and its pending arrival because it will come...always. But never like we think it will. Or did Sam know his fate as he sang a song of hope? Did he feel the future encroaching? He was afraid to die, but someone shot him dead anyway. And isn't that still happening today? I do not get how so much time can pass, and still black men and women die. What the fuck change? How are you so present and absent at the same time?
And it is happening now, if we pay close attention. Change is part of all that we do, all that we are. It seems more and more that my perspective can no longer afford the delusion of idle days lacking growth. Grow we shall or die we must on the very dull edge of change’s cutting edge over worn by time and dulled by minute experiences too banal to land with import. But the change of death, that gets our attention. But we so fear it, that we lull ourselves back to sleep. Sleep walking through the days of change that come.