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GLINT


Turn and face the strange: 11.22.04

So S. and I were walking past our favorite neighborhood watering hole last night (operative word: past, that’s PAST and not INTO for once…), and he asked, “Did you used to go in there when they were fixing the ceiling?” I replied in the affirmative, noting that although there were buckets scattered all over to catch the drips, numerous tarps rigged up above the patronage (lending the whole place a surrealist and/or nautical theme), and various space heaters scattered amongst the (did I mention, usually drunk) patronage like the fire hazards they were ----the bar never closed. Not even for one night. And this is over a series of months.

We chuckled about this for about ½ a block and then moved on to other important topics, however the metaphor had already started to congeal in my head—much like the damp clumps of plaster that the bar’s old ceiling used to deposit on my head. The bar made it through a complete process of renewal, regeneration, whatever without ever faltering in its steps. It continued to supply me and my neighbors with fine, chilled domestic beers despite the fact that it was undergoing a facelift. The point?

That change does not have to be disruptive. That change can occur seamlessly while one is still busily and productively going about one's business. Change doesn’t have to be some massively disconcerting thing that happens when you hit spiritual, financial, professional, personal rock-bottom. Why, you can just change because...it’s the thing to do that will better yourself….and you don’t have to be dramatic about it….and you don’t have to think of it as a grinding halt to one phase and the starting line to another…it can be integrated into your life without undue disruption.

Now, perhaps you already knew this. Maybe all of you are running around out there with perfectly fashioned ideas about who you are and what you’d like to be doing. But this is kind of news to me. It’s an idea that has only recently begun to take shape…like what if I want to move to ohhhh, say, Portland and it’s not because the Swamptown where I currently live has utterly failed me or disappointed me? What if I move because I feel positive about what Portland may hold for me? What if I move because that’s just where things take me?

So change doesn’t have to mean things are completely falling apart on me: the floor isn’t collapsing under me, the ceiling isn’t caving in. Change can mean that you are tearing stuff down in order fix, repair, and yes, improve. And change doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING changes—there are some constants. I’m learning I’ve got some resources around —some buckets, tarps, and space heaters, if you will— that make change seem less like a demolition and more like a fixer-upper.


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