Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.
What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.
Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.
Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets To Orpheus, Part Two, XII
Changes come to us in our own time, but often we grow comfortable in our own sameness. For meaningful change to happen we must step away from ourselves and become something else—something different, something more. Which way to go? It hardly matters at first, for we must break the comfortable spell we find ourselves in before we might finally see what’s available to us.
The thing is, change takes many forms. Some people emphatically sail away from it all to see the world, while for other people change takes shape in less obvious ways. The pace of change is different for each of us. But we’re changing nonetheless. Like a sailor waiting for a weather window, we don’t always control the pace of change, but we may yet arrive if we keep working towards our objective. Put another way, we must have agency over our own transformation to live a full and rewarding life, while recognizing we aren’t on this journey alone.
Yet it remains true that we must be the arsonist to our old self. Change begins with the spark of inspiration, kindled into a flame, that grows into a signal fire. We grow into ourselves one step at a time. As Rilke says so beautifully; “Every happiness is the child of a separation it did not thing it could survive”. We are aware of the changes happening within us and around us—do we shrink into our shell at such moments or embrace it? Life in every moment is a reckoning between who we believe ourselves to be and the person we wish to become.
Dare to be it.