Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am a series of events

Linton, oil, acrylic, beeswax on panel, 9 1/2" x 9 1/2"
If it's scientifically proven that everything is in a constant state of change, then life's big question: Who am I? becomes irrelevant. It's no wonder the question is hard to answer. What you are changes from one moment to the next. It's impossible to pin down.

Rather, the question we should be concerned with is: What am I becoming? After all, we know that matter is energy (and energy matter), therefore it's what we put our energies into that constitutes the matter we are made of.

Michael shared a few lines from the book he's reading with me a week or so ago. The author explains,
"The idea of a substance [or, I would say, a person] as something extended in space and persistent in time becomes meaningless if neither space nor time is absolute. A substance [or, again, a person] now had to be considered a series of events, connected together in one continuum, taking place in space time. . .  there occurs a process of everlasting change; and the only thing eternal is change itself." - Europe Since Napolean by David Thomson
Viewing myself as a person living in space time—as one in process of everlasting change—not only coincides comfortably with what I believe about the eternal nature of beings, but also gives me room to breathe a little in my mortal skin. I think the paradigm shift from Who am I? to Who am I becoming? takes the paralyzing weight off the present and constructively places it as Focus in the future. It helps me remember that every day matters. And that means tomorrow too. It allows me to treat myself more kindly because I know that I am just a person striving. Mistakes don't mean I'm a bad person, rather, they serve to strengthen my belief that I am a person in a constant state of change. And change means ups and downs. Who am I becoming? Isn't it a hopeful question?

It's hard to compartmentalize events in our lives. I am not made up of neat little bits of my life, but the sum—in totality—of my experiences, circumstances, history. Sometimes that sum can't be divided so tidily. I am made of a series of events, connected together in one continuum.

And so I'm back again where I started several years ago when I began work on my final show: "This notion [that I am a series of events] has profound implications; that events give birth to events, changes to changes, and actions to actions; that I am but a part of a grand causality."

Funny how cyclical our understanding is.

1 comment:

Pancake said...

Its funny because I was just telling my wife similar things. Life is made up of events, almost like a tapestry. And like a tapestry every moment of of every day weaves together the threads of our essence.

But I don't think it stops there. There is this inherent search for control in so many people. And so much of what goes on every day is a search for control. I believe that sporting events are an example of that. We create these artificial moments, give them meaning, and then try to manipulate them for our benefits.

Like you said, life is changing, always moving. Our lives our made of these events, and sometimes its hard to distinguish between them. And its easy to get lost. Its easy to forget and to compromise the kind of people we want to be. But its important to keep trying because it is in these moments that we define what we are. And we become. It made me resolve to be stronger in my own personal integrity. Because I don't want to forget what and who I want to be. I don't want to become something I don't respect. Whether that moment is contrived by me or others, my control of the outcome lies with myself to choose my actions.

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