June | METAMORPHOSIS
Gratefully Unbound: The Fear of Living in Transition
By Tricia Stewart Shiu
Contemplation – Charles Reix
Featured Image Art above: Igor Voloshin for GI
Don’t you hate it when life reflects your article titles? Or is it just me?
The title for this article was created late, last year. Remember last year? Back when no one thought twice about walking in groups, traveling anywhere they wanted or taking a cruise… let alone, going grocery shopping.
And yet . . .
Here we are. Doing whatever we do to care for ourselves and others during these “unprecedented“ times.
Or maybe, we’re not caring for ourselves. There really is no right answer, here.
In fact, the world and its inhabitants, are so topsy turvy, so discombobulated, that rules are being created, amended and stricken from the record, within minutes of their inception.
ARTISTIC ALLEGORY | LE MOT JUSTE
It’s hard to know what to think or feel—let alone, what to do— when faced with life or death decisions. In fact, even the simplest tasks become overwhelming when combined with the collective onslaught of social media posts, news segments and subliminal, subversive societal coercion.
Every comment is fodder for the question: Whose side are you on? Are you with us or against us? Families, social circles, states, our government, and even the world, are pointedly divided on common issues and it is, without a doubt, death-defyingly stressful. One chiropractor I recently spoke with, said almost every patent he’s seen in the last few months, has had some form of jaw pain from stress. Even the most clear-headed people can find following a simple, logical thread of thought to the end, almost impossible.
No one is immune to the current communal virtual and tangible realities.
We are all in the midst of a metamorphosis and that means giving up — or at least deeply questioning — certain closely-held understandings, beliefs, values and, well, rules.
A metamorphosis can be beautiful to behold, from the outside. The appearance of a small growing larvae, glimpsing subtle signs of life within an unidentifiable object, transformation to a fleeting identifiable caterpillar, then, the mysterious movement beneath a writhing cocoon, and finally — the illustrious breakthrough, as the butterfly emerges from its confines to fly into freedom.
Secret Password Series – Art: A.G.S. Andrew for GI
But, experiencing a metamorphosis first-hand, is all at once terrifying, thrilling, cataclysmic and wondrous. Transformation must occur and as that happens, certain protections must be created in order to ensure a safe environment for change. Each stage must be felt, and none can be skipped, because each moment connects to the next and creates a thread of process and finally, muscles must be built in order to break free from the self-made container and achieve the outcome. Freedom can be fought for and hard won, and as happens within metamorphosis, the end product can be quite breathtaking to experience.
There is a certain deliciousness to being so unabashedly unrestricted.
A Daily Art Magazine article, gives a perfect analogy for the experience of transformation and puts it in humanistic, scientific and artistic terms. “The Art of Metamorphosis,” asks us to “… imagine the universe as a rainbow linen carpet,” in which we are gathering colorful threads. As we pursue one thread, or line of thinking, the color becomes more vibrant and nuanced.
The human experience is most definitely fraught with danger and risk and, even if it doesn’t feel like it, at times, we have free will. The beauty of it, however, is entirely up to the owner of said experience.
“Those lines are neuro-connections, and represent the brain shaping Neuroplasticity—and it goes both ways,” the article continues, “adapting your mind to your circumstances, and your reality to the means you have of perceiving it.”
It’s anyone’s guess as to what the future holds and being in the midst of the tumultuous, tempestuously glorious moment, can lift you up and out of the darkness or drive you deeper into it.
“Maybe,” concludes the article, “if we keep reaching outwards, we’ll be able to pass all phases — our childhood as a blind thread collecting caterpillar, then knitting our valuable unique cocoon, and finally, bloom flying free: metamorphosing beyond a previous, restrained and biased, self.”
But, who knows, the winds of change could shift again and we could find ourselves in an entirely new realm of certainty.
The end of the beginning, so to speak. By the way, heads up. Next month’s article is “Strange Drain: When Enough is a Communal Effort.” Truth is, most certainly, stranger than fiction. Especially, when it comes to the titles of Artistic Allegory articles.