It starts with a nosebleed - like an inner wound that can't be held back anymore. The blood hits the porcelain sink, and the gaping dark void of the open drain stares back - a place of death, transformation, and rebirth.
Faced with pain, do we numb out, toughen up, escape into fantasy, or fall into addiction? Stripped of our defenses, do we reinforce our control, collapse, or allow a natural balance to reassert itself? Or do we choose to remain poised in stasis, caught between the fear of death and the denial of life?
Equilibrium is not static. Matter and energy moves, interacts, builds and disintegrates, and each small death creates an exchange which regenerates and prolongs life. In this way, life pairs off with death, change with balance, chaos with order.
When we shut out our pain, we prevent it from moving through to a completion (to our self-renewal) but the inevitable backlog that results pushes through eventually - sometimes explosively.
In this regard, sudden and intensely disruptive events in our lives are not punishments or bad luck, but a call to a new way of being. Pain, then, is a signal for change and transformation, and chaos gives birth to a new order and renewed life.
Thank you to The Alberta Foundation for the Arts for its generous support.