Birthday Post: On Transitions

Hey pals! It’s the end of June, and you know what that means!

Obligatory birthday post!

Yes, yes, my birthday isn’t until Thursday (Turning 27! Whoo!). But next Monday brings us awfully close to the Toronto Fringe, so I figured I’d squeeze the birthday philosophizing in today.

So I’m going to be honest. This is a time of intense transition and transformation. Home, work, life -everything has felt the effects. My solid ground has turned to shifting sands, and quite frankly, it’s terrifying.

You see, I’m the kind of person that set down roots. Deep roots, intense roots. I build routines and systems. When those get disrupted – when I’m uprooted, when the patterns change – I feel terribly discombobulated. It’s almost like I use those roots and routines to anchor myself. When too much changes too rapidly, it feels like I’ve been cut loose on endless ocean.

“The Shipwreck,” J.M.W. Turner (1805). Courtesy http://www.tate.org.uk

It feels like drowning.

Perhaps that’s an apt metaphor. Look at the symbolism water carries with it. Water is chaos, the “formless deep.” Water is death.

Water is also a womb, All life springs from the ocean. If we’re going to broaden the metaphor, mythology is filled with a descent to the underworld – or the ocean’s darkest places – followed by death and rebirth. From Inanna to Jonah, for the true self to be born, death must happen first.

As wiser people than me have said, transformation is a kind of death.

So much talk of death for a birthday post! But that’s where stories and mythologies are useful. They give form and the illusion of narrative structure to a universe that has little of either.

(To be clear: we’re only discussing death on a metaphorical/archetypal level here.)

Looking at my past birthday posts, there’s a constant refrain. I didn’t feel fully-formed. I knew something was missing. Something was immature, unfinished. I knew I wasn’t yet myself, not entirely. It was a caterpillar phase, I guess.

And now –

Now, I think this is the formless deep. And that word “formless” strikes me pretty hard– life certainly feels formless at the minute! This is the chrysalis, the underworld, the chaos and destruction at the end of a long cycle of stability.

But from all of that…from all of that, new life always springs. As uncomfortable as transition is, I really do think it’s bringing me closer to the person I really am. And I think the lessons from earlier in my twenties have laid a solid foundation for finding that KT. De profundis, right? “Out of the depths” has always been a personal motto of sorts.Now we see it in action!

I love this painting, but I’ve searched high and low and cannot find the artist’s name. If you know it, please send it my way so I can link properly!

I’m still hopeful about the year ahead. When I’m not fretting, I’m actually quite excited. We’re getting closer to…to whatever it is, this thing on the horizon. A new chapter is starting. We just have to get there.

-KT

What I’m Listening to this Week

Choir gives me many things…and I greatly appreciate the music it brings me. The right piece tends to find me at the right time. My voice does not fit spirituals easily, but it is some of the most comforting and viscerally emotional music I’ve heard.

 

Posted on June 25, 2018, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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