Virus on a Bullet
It’s palpable. Almost as if in an accelerating jet, the speed and intensity of life washes through and around us as we grow, develop, and transform. We transition from student to professional, from single to married, from son to father and daughter to mother; or perhaps we relocate, re-brand, renew ourselves in some fundamental way that reveals this 4th dimension we all thoughtlessly share. Of course, we each simultaneously dissolve, giving bits of ourselves back to the world as cells shed, relationships ended, and favors rendered, eventually going so far as to donate these temporary vessels back to the soil.
The wise ones say that in looking closely, there is in fact no static point here. There is nothing which is not shifting like the sand beneath the tides, or the rock being turned to radiant liquid deep in the earth, or the new growth insisting its way through the trees in spring time. There is no anchor, there is no shelter, and there is no relief from the onslaught of time, anywhere, for anyone.
If this is true, the fact that adults are so bewildered by adolescence might serve as an indication that adults are simply a little dull. Those magical years of changing voices, brains, and bodies are really more the rule than the exception, seen against the backdrop of an exploding cosmos. It’s the self-imposed stasis of maturity that should be viewed with skepticism – the teenagers hear the beat and dance accordingly.
Heard an interview recently with Jennifer Senior, author of the book All Joy and No Fun, in which she cites studies showing how hard adolescence is on adults – research that will likely not surprise many readers who also happen to be parents of adolescents. Nonetheless, there is an important paradigm shift available here, one in which we (the adults) seek more than survival of our loved ones’ adolescence, more than successful negotiation of the “challenges” and “obstacles” and “distractions”. We might instead look to this often-extraordinary explosion of creative weirdness as a reminder of not only who we each not only were in our own time, but of who we each are, at our cosmic and cellular core, at this very moment.
There is no investment portfolio sufficiently diversified, no professional portfolio so esteemed, no wardrobe so refined as to provide even the scantest protection against the fact that in essence we are each and all of us smaller than a virus on a bullet shot into the moonless night. Just spend a week with a teenager if you need to be reminded that transformation, not stability, has the upper hand in this reality. You might even enjoy it.