Sunday, March 31, 2013

think different


there are so many stories in this picture. a tale of a lost captain, far from the sea. or a tale of a tidal wave. or the tale of a lake that dried up, leaving the boat stranded high and dry. being run aground - stories of tragedy and dashed dreams. but instead, i choose to see a story of hope - of faith that the water will come and the boat will float once again.

apple once urged us to think different (the grammar of that always bothered me). a combination of 21 days of meditating with oprah and chopra, months of butting my head against the troglodyte, and a general weariness brought on by the protracted delay of spring has me feeling a strong need to think different(ly).

kylie's thoughts on a support ecosystem, which i linked to the other day, via mel(who has taken the brave step of following her passion towards self-employment) have been tumbling around in my head. as have salman rushdie's musings in joseph anton on maintaining a sense of authentic identity in the face of (even self-chosen) exile. all of this makes being in my head a very confusing place. as rushdie says, 
the migrated self became, inevitably, heterogeneous instead of homogeneous, belonging to more than one place, multiple rather than singular, responding to more than one way of being, more than averagely mixed up. was it possible to be - to become good at being - not rootless, but multiply rooted? not to suffer from a loss of roots but to benefit from an excess of them? ... the self was both its origins and its journey.
so as a way of bringing together these fragments that have been circulating in my brain, i've been thinking about how to create a support ecosystem that will cushion the blows of rejection from the culture in which i find myself (by accident as well as choice) when they come (because they inevitably and regularly come).

i think the notion of a support ecosystem is powerful because it contains the feeling of being constantly in flux and adjusting, not static and precarious. i can add and subtract to achieve the sense of balance needed on a given day. one day i might be needing someone to lean on, the next, i may be the one being leaned on. but it's all a matter of interaction and giving (and taking) on all sides. of taking and giving courage and kindness and energy as needed.

and maybe it's not so much a support ecosystem as a cultural ecosystem - trying to retain the best aspects of my culture and meld them much more with the good bits of the culture where i find myself - weaving a more balanced sense of identity that's not so fragile to the blows when they come. because i have to stop feeling every disagreement as a rejection of me as a person and as the denial of my humanity that it currently feels like. i'm not exactly sure how i got to a place where that's what happens. all i know is that it requires too much energy to sustain it and i would much rather channel that energy creatively, into weaving something stronger for myself - identity, ecosystem, culture, life - whatever it be called.

so i'm going to begin to think differently - to look for the positive in every situation instead of defaulting to the negative story. it's undoubtedly a long and slow journey, and a lot of courage will be required along the way, but it seems like one that i need to take. one day soon, that boat will float.

* * *

green cities: worth thinking about.

1 comment:

Bill Stankus said...

Ah, Grasshopper, you have stumbled upon a great paradox. You can only think your own thoughts, no matter how much you think of them as different, they remain only yours.