• 16th July 2002 - By greg

    All that you touch
    you change.

    All that you change
    changes you.

    The only lasting truth
    is change.

    is change.

    Wondering where you may have heard or read this insightful passage? Was it from the New Testament? The good book of Mathew? Luke? Perhaps some ancient bit of insight from the Koran? The Tibetan book of the dead?

    Nope. It’s from the book of Earthseed, a religious doctrine written by Lauren Oya Olamina in the year 2027. Lauren is of course, a fictional character colorfully invented by Octavia E. Butler in the 1998 nebula award-winning novel “Parable of the Talents”. A wonderful fictional tale of a black woman who conceives a new world religion based upon what she envisions as the only real truth: CHANGE.

    And it’s true. What can you really PROVE to be true aside from change?

    Regardless of how things appear at times, nothing is ever static. From the random fluctuations of the smallest quantum particle to the deliberate voyage of the sun and planets above, there is constant change – always and everywhere. You cannot escape change.

    In fact, you ARE change. Did you know that 98% of the atoms that you are assembled with are replaced EVERY YEAR? That means that you are not quite what you were a moment ago, and entirely different that a year ago. Sorry, but you changed.

    Change is life. You will know this is true if you attempt to imagine what your life would be without ANY change. Envision life if the weather was exactly the same every day, if you went to the same job and did the same thing over and over again (sorry if that sounds a lot like your current job – if so, maybe it’s time for a change?), and if you ate mashed potatoes and roast beef for dinner every night. Imagine what it would be like if everyone on the planet was exactly like you.

    That’s what my mom used to tell me as a child whenever I criticized someone else’s ‘differences’. She would say “Wouldn’t the world be an awful place if everyone was just like you!” And you know, she was exactly right. It’s the differences and change that make life and the Universe the mysteriously wonderful place that it is.

    I’ve been pondering my mom’s wisdom a lot lately. In fact, I doubt an hour passes without me thinking of her and her enlightened insights.

    Her life has recently changed. In a really huge way.

    My mom had a major stroke last week and she’s recovering in the hospital now.

    She will never be the same. On good days, I think she can understand some of what I attempt to communicate to her. On bad days, she just stares off into space. She moaned “Hi” the other day, and just yesterday learned how to shake her head ‘no’ instead of answering every question with an incessant attempt to please by nodding ‘yes’.

    She suffers from excruciating headaches, suffocating asthma, various gastro intestinal problems and a nasty tract infection. And as if this wasn’t bad enough, imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t tell anyone where you were hurting and how you were feeling?

    It’s been particularly difficult for me to see God in a change like this, but I’m really trying.

    “God is Change
    And hidden within Change is
    Surprise, delight,
    Confusion, pain,
    Discovery, loss,
    Opportunity, and growth,
    As always,
    God exists
    To shape
    And to be shaped.”

    Parable of the Talents
    by Octavia E. Butler

    “To each, his own”
    by Elizabeth Kolodziejzyk
    issued at various suitable moments over the last 40 years of my life.

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