To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often. John Henry Newman
After a 2 year absence I’m back and of course only a pandemic could have roused me from my self imposed writer’s slumber. Don’t judge me too harshly though as I’m part of the millions around the world which according to cnn are revisiting lost hobbies. Never have I simultaneously been excited to be writing again whilst equally disappointed to be part of the millions-I do of course suffer from “special snowflake” syndrome.
I suspect everyone is writing about the pandemic so you’re well within your rights to bemoan yet another pandemic post, however as most writers will know relief can be slow in coming when we don’t pen those whirling thoughts. For the last 2 years my musings have been confined to my nightly journaling habit; (ok scratch that more like bi weekly when life is good and twice a day when I’m drowning in the why’s) but you get the gist.
Musical statues and the old age question
A bit of a long winded introduction; I know- but it happens to be related to why I’m writing and why a pandemic has stirred me to contemplate something new and by so doing hopefully you too if you’re in need of stirring. My question to you is what’s left when we strip it all away and change is unwillingly imposed ? Are we left with sleep walkers, perhaps a world in a zombie like state, people grappling with identity and purpose?
We’ve all been playing a continuous game of musical statues. Now that the game master has pressed the pause button for longer than we could have anticipated we’ve somehow been unwittingly left in disarray. Unable to function in a new existence and in change. Unable to make sense of a life when the things we hold onto are stripped away. We talk of normality like it’s our comfort blanket and the only way we’ll taste of peace is if someone gives it back? The common phrase these days is “when lockdown ends…”
Who are you without the companionship of your friends or family? Can you still be you when your daily freedom to interact and move freely is compromised? What’s the purpose of your life when all you have to face when you wake up is a mirror looking back at you? The silence of a prolonged pause in a game of musical statues was only ever meant to eliminate the participants who couldn’t stand still.
Dance to your own rhythm
What does this mean for you and me in this season? There’s certainly no easy answers but my personal lesson has been to completely drop out of this game of musical statues. You see I’ve always much rather preferred to dance to the drum of my own beat. Normalcy doesn’t have to be a predefined template handed down by society. As an individual you can carve out your own version of this. The ability to adapt to change is key to survival in a jungle. I know it’s a an exaggerated metaphor to use as we are not animals in a jungle but I believe the lesson can be true for me and you.
In the midst of all the losses we are all facing in this season I’m reminded that our lives don’t have to simulate a game; we are more than the things that feel like they defined us. The stripped away person starring at you in the piercing silence of the season is still you. Everyday, more so now is a chance for a new beginning. A chance to do the things you’ve been putting off (cough cough… blogging). A chance for gratitude at the small things in life. A chance to live the version of life you want to; albeit under unconventional circumstances. A chance to run your own race outside of the comparison game the world will often have us play. A chance to discover who are you and what you can do when the template of the life you where handed down changes.
That’s why I’m writing again because in this new season I’m rediscovering new mercies and a new choreography to my life. I hope somehow you do too and i completely take back my earlier remarks; I’ll happily identify with the millions discovering new hobbies, change and a new version of life.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Isaiah 43 v 18
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning Lamentation 3:22-23