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The Metamorphosis of the Blue Period: It Began in Black

As part of my pretence of being a creative person, clearly it should come with a Blue Period of my own.

Once, a long time ago when I was studying in Wales, I travelled on as many weekends I could. These were short trips, usually to a castle town because I was mad about castles then. Mainly I picked up the bus schedule, and just went from there. There were no plans, just getting there and wandering. It was different from the trips I had taken before that with my family. Even though it was a time when I struggled with many things, I felt complete. I felt free.

When I started working though, I reverted back to those old norms. Only, there was work travel added to it as well. A period in my life when I shuttled in between places, but explored them less. Touring, but not engaging. I tried to be normal, so I could have the life that everyone was having. Hard as it was, normal was eventually right in my grasp.

But my hands closed upon it as on a burning coal. It made me crouch smaller and smaller, and still the embers did not die. Finally I let go.

It was a time of darkness and loss, for I felt overwhelmed by the sense that I had lost too much time, and was damaged beyond revival. Pain surrounded me on all sides though you cannot see by looking at me. It is in this drowning that I learned how to be reborn, and learned to accept that the conventional life was not chosen for me.

Into the cocoon

And so my Blue Period began in pitch black darkness.

The path out of the dark drowning felt like a rehearsal for dying and crossing over to another life. The me that I was could not cope with what I faced, as dead ends loomed on every side. And so I asked to be changed into the me that could – even though my logical mind could not compute what exactly it was I was asking, nor how it would possibly make any sense.

But that is what happened. A metamorphosis. Funnily enough, to be restored as Me 2.0, requires that I completely let go of Me 1.0, trusting that at the end I would still feel like me, recognise myself, and that this will be ok. It takes trust to leap off that cliff, trusting in the guide who responded, confident of flight – or at least levitation.

Some there are who could leap on the strength of that trust and love of the guide alone. I don’t know that my logical mind could have released its self-reliance to do it, had the walls not closed in on me and I had no choice. In that respect, looking back I suppose I needed the calamity. The tragedy was perhaps the best thing to happen to me. I did not lose my logic; it was restored to me. I only gained something better that breathed a living light to it, animating with warmth the marble golem that housed it before.

Out of the cocoon

The leap was the hardest part, hands down. If a caterpillar had to decide to enter its cocoon, trusting that it will be fine in there, and that afterwards it would emerge a butterfly, I wonder if we would have butterflies at all after a while. After all it seems scary and lonely, and maybe being a butterfly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It’s only after having passed through that you understand how vast is the difference between the two. It’s only when you understand how – despite such a clear difference – you have not changed into a ‘different person’. Somehow it feels like you have changed into much more of you. Like you changed ‘into’ yourself. Just distilled, compressed.

Kind of how you make a sun by fusing the pre-sun into itself.

Still, the bad news is that metamorphosis wasn’t the end of the struggle. Breaking out of the cocoon isn’t it either. A baby remains fragile for a while as it works out how to be. A butterfly can’t fly straight away, while its wings are yet wet.

But life hurries you and hurries you – and I know I’ve wasted time.

black and blue green butterfly

 

The butterfly does not think about being a butterfly

The downside to my analytical sight being returned to me upon crossing the rebirth threshold, is that I will think.

There is an obvious problem with not having the conventional life. No one knows how to give you directions. You can ask a hundred, a thousand caterpillars and not a single one can advise a butterfly what its food is, never mind how to fly. It’s not much good being reborn if you don’t know how to live.

It was at this period in my life that I realised that:

  1. The best thing that needed to happen to change my life, did.
  2. Not a single person I knew has any flipping idea what kind of life that would – or could – be.
  3. If I don’t work it out soon, the reborn me would starve and die.
  4. You can’t un-metamorphose.

I looked out to an empty blue horizon. I had no choice. Let the odyssey begin.

It’s a good thing blue is my favourite colour.

 

7 thoughts on “The Metamorphosis of the Blue Period: It Began in Black

  1. I love to read this piece! Especially the sentence ‘you have not changed into a “different person”… like you changed “into” yourself. I can definitely find myself in that sentence. I got lost a bit since I travel and I do not always know which direction I have to go, but I feel more myself than ever and I wouldn’t change a thing – I can’t change it anymore anyway.

  2. I love the ending! That leap of faith that you take into your second life, the unconventional life of someone bound to travel (though getting more and more conventional, now, or maybe I’m too stuck in a bubble with other travelers/bloggers), cannot be reversed. That’s so true. I can’t go back to who I was before either, before I discovered travel. I especially adore your bullet point list. Nice introspection!

    1. Maybe it’s getting conventional enough that it is possible to congregate among travellers and forget the majority of the world is still grounded. I hosted a Hungarian blogger at my place recently and her way of life is still considered highly controversial in her country – even resented sometimes. Not that grounded is bad – that stability creates a community that grounds and shelters millions of people quite efficiently, right?

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