Expand and Contract

textile design, 1987, silk menswear

I am in love with expansion.

I’m not really that fond of contraction.

That’s my ‘on-the-surface’ thinking.

The cultural overlay that says light is good and the shadows are bad.

Or: happiness is the goal and discontent is to be run from.

Maybe this: Ease is the sought for mode of existence and the bumpy road needs shock absorbers.

The very alive human in me, the concoction of flesh and bones and reason and desire agrees wholeheartedly with those ways of being.

But the ESSENCE of me runs on a different kind of gas.

What if every day I got up and there was the crimson flower I had dreamed of right there at my door blooming and throwing it’s scent my way?

Or we skipped winter altogether and lived inside a constant 75 degree bubble of reliable sunshine and no thunderstorms or flash floods or soft rain of any kind touched our happy but innocent skin?

There is something in me that thrives on the sudden CRACK! of that thunderstorm and the quest for that illusive bloom.

I love sun and thrive on it but wouldn’t give it a second thought if it were my constant companion.

These days, even though I still cower at the contracting part of my life, I know it’s worth.

Having lived within a contracted body for awhile now, I value the stretch and lean into life more than before.

I don’t take the miracles of true connection with people, creatures, the natural world, God for granted as I’ve lived without and I now know the difference.

If I enter challenging territory as I have in the past week, I know it will turn toward the expansive direction at some point (which it has) and I needn’t fear I am stuck inside that place forever.

Truth be told, I often need reminding that the shift WILL take place and the tribe I keep close will remind me when I forget.

I seem to be getting more comfortable with the whole tapestry and not just the even and tidy rows one finds in the very center, but the frayed edges and renegade threads are now elements I call friends.

A little wear and tear makes for an unexpectedly unique and lovely patina that tends to draw me as opposed to the stock item on the shelf.


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