Hope is a Constant – Day 11

Hope is a Constant – Day 11

I discovered an old journal today filled with random thoughts and insights, speckled with a few plans.  What was most apparent, was an ongoing theme of discovery, searching for something that I felt needed to be found.

On one of the pages, the words were written, “All progress requires change, but not all change is progress.”  Because I’m not sure where the thought originated, I cannot assume it was mine,  thus giving credit where credit is due.  However this powerful quote stands beside a random thought that did enter my mind this afternoon, “Hope is a constant through change.”

We all have goals that drive our actions, but unanticipated change can upset our direction, breaking up an established routine, sometimes even sending us into a tailspin.

Thus, we must focus on a constant.  Power beyond the moment, a strength provided from a belief that moves mountains.  This support system cannot be broken.  It is always there for us, even amidst the upheaval of uninvited change.

And as I reread my own words in that 10-year old journal, I believe I may have just found the “magical” something I was looking for back then.  

Change doesn’t always move us forward, but it doesn’t have to move us backward either.  Holding on to hope keeps us steady through the waves of the unexpected.  From this balance point, we can surely progress.

– Erika K Rothwell

Hope is a Constant – Read by Erika K Rothwell
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Time Inside a Dresser

Time Inside a Dresser

I emptied out a dresser today.  Most times, dressers are filled with clothes, but mine was filled with memories.  The school, drill team, and sports pictures were enough to make me cry.  It was the handmade Mother’s Day cards and artwork that had me sobbing.

I ask all of you, how is it possible that all of this life passes by us in a few short years?  I know you don’t have the answer, just like me.  The ultrasound picture of my youngest child growing inside of me alongside the framed print of my daughter’s ultrasound carrying my grandchild doesn’t make sense to me at this moment.  For, Time does not appear linear in this moment.  Einstein once wrote, “For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

Julian Barbour, a British physicist, describes time as “a succession of pictures, a succession of snapshots, changing continuously one into another. I’m looking at you; you’re nodding your head. Without that change, we wouldn’t have any notion of time.”

So time continues to be an illusion for those of us who resist the belief in linear time and reject the idea that time is understood past the moment of now.  Our brains struggle to categorize moments in static configurations, to support time being linear, yet it only illustrates linear time as it flows from the changes it senses.

Barbour goes on to outline “Nows” as the true explanation of time, ”We have the strong impression that things have definite positions relative to each other. I aim to abstract away everything we cannot see (directly or indirectly) and simply keep this idea of many different things coexisting at once. There are simply the Nows, nothing more, nothing less.”

I absolutely love how he outlines these nows as taking place simultaneously, outside of linear time, the very moments when you experience a memory alongside today and feel the coexistence.  This simultaneous existence describes my emotional state.  Time cannot have possibly passed, only by feeling the time that is now, unsure of any other moment beyond.  It is the present I feel.  To explain this by such a powerful intersection makes complete sense to me.

This explanation is deep, I know.  My father’s words written in a birthday card to my son when he was only three, as we awaited the arrival of his little brother awakened my memory of his continuous deep examination of time, questioning whether relative or illusory.  And I sense him here with me “Now” although he’s left us years ago.

To me today, I feel as Barbour did, when he stated: ”If you try to get your hands on time, it’s always slipping through your fingers.”

And if that’s true, I understand why I’m unable to grasp this moment in time because it was once there, I feel it now, and as the succession of pictures attempts to move me to accept the change, equal to the notion of time, I choose to hold tightly onto an illusion.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Metaphorical Thinking

Metaphorical Thinking

Metaphorical Thinking

It’s been raining for days.  I’m driving along a rural highway admiring the visual gifts, namely the multiple waterfalls being formed simply by water cascading down slight inclines of land.  My mind wanders and settles on the cleansing effect of rain on the earth.  For me, the metaphorical thoughts inherently follow.  

As the miles pass, I notice the scorched landscape that had been burned by a rampant wildfire, months before.  The trees look forlorn as they reach toward the sky with their unscathed branches while their burned trunks tell the story.  The grass is only a memory left by a smoky black trail.  Somehow though, at that moment, the rain seems to promise a glistening future by lighting up the dark stretch of devastation.

It is proven that a lightly burned section of land, when given life-giving water, can be renewed and flourish.  This can only be attributed to roots that extend deeper than the visible damage combined with the chemical compound change effect of the soil.

And now, I feel it…the metaphorical cleansing effect of the rain.  It beats down with an incessant rhythm lulling me into the hope of a future.  So many times, I have been beaten down by the fires…and feel I can only show a dark trail of pain.  But then, the rain comes, and my boughs reach for the sky;  making it clear that my roots are still intact. It is at this time, I believe I can flourish from my new soil.

-Erika K Rothwell

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