Reflections on THE PAST MONTH:
September was an especially challenging month for me on the home front. Though I must admit, that sentiment seems to be par for the course lately. There were just too many changes going on for my tastes.
You see, I’m someone who thrives on my own little routine and I thoroughly enjoy being in my home with my pets doing work, reading books or watching movies. I’m not especially fond of change, though I do recognize its value and have accepted that a certain amount of it is necessary in life.
That’s just to say I’d be pretty satisfied if things changed a little bit less for me lately.
I understand that not all change is unwelcome, and yet it still unnerves me.
We are giving our house and garage a face lift with brand new board and batten siding and vinyl shakes. We also added a 2.5 inch layer of insulation prior to the siding. It looks like a brand new house, not one that’s been around for 60 years. And it’ll be much more energy efficient this winter. These are positive changes.
But then there are the negative ones. I suppose that the harrowing, uncontrollable experiences we can’t change are the ones that carve us into who we are. Whether we like it or not, we’re apt to suffer at some point in life and we can choose to let it stagnate us or let it propel us forward. We have the choice. We can always choose to look at the silver lining and let it grow us instead of upheave us.
Sometimes we get uprooted only to be replanted elsewhere. Sometimes we sit and rot for a bit until we get tired of it and strive to do something different. Point being, even negative change can create positive outcomes. Not to say that the negative doesn’t still outweigh the positive in some circumstances, but the polarities needn’t be mutually exclusive.
We can have something that feels bad and still find the good in it.
Now, along the same lines but a little off-topic: I was listening to the Dear Sugars Podcast episode titled “You Must Change Your Life”, appropriately named after the last line of the poem Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926). It had me thinking about the changes we seek to make - the good, or at least necessary, changes we actually want to see occur in our lives.
As the James Baldwin quote above suggests, everything must be faced in order to be changed, yet not everything that is faced can be changed. Which also reminds me of the serenity prayer and the act of surrender we must undergo in order to understand what is within our control and what stands outside of our grasp.
So all this lamenting about change comes at an appropriate time I suppose. I mean, what better way to illustrate change than the onset of autumn? The leaves turn bright colours and drop, the nights get chilly and windy, and we start preparing our houses and vehicles for the winter season.
And so in the spirit of autumn being my favourite time of year - I’m wishing you all a great October!
Lettering + Design Updates
I’ve been working on a few things this month but it’s too early to unveil them, so here’s a preview of one, and the “almost-finished” version of another (a hand lettered wood sign).
To see more of my design work, visit my design page.
This article simply wrote itself, there’s not much more to it. It chronicles my experience with death during the past year, talking about the anxiety it breeds but also the wisdom it unearths. I hope you like it!