13. What Does It Change

Most of the time our lives seem to be stationary and we get use to the tempo and flow of things as they are. There are also times when change will come at us unexpectedly and overwhelm us. I'm at an age (I'm in my 50s now) when change is coming whether I like it or not. As a playwright I seek change because it is in the nature of the job, as life changing incidents make for good drama. When characters are forced to deal with things they would rather avoid, that is drama in a nutshell. Though I seek change, it can still frighten me. Experience has taught me some people deal well with change, while others don't. Some even find change threatening to the point of self-destruction. So what is the nature of change? And why is it threatening to some and not to others?

Age seems to have some influence, as younger people expect change, while we older folks tend to avoid it. However this doesn't explain it. If you want to understand change, simply observe nature's organic pattern. Each and every season moves fluidly into the next. I've never met a confused or frustrated tree, so why do people and characters fight against change instead of yielding to it? Everyone understands in a storm older trees snap because they lack the flexibility of younger trees.

Change happens every day of my life, whether I like it or not and whether I'm aware of it or not. The problem some people and characters have with change might have to do with a life-time full of experiences. Change is like pain, emotional pain. Things can hurt simply because they are changing. If your life is going through a difficult stage, any change can be a threat to make things worse. We too must remember pain is a great teacher. When I think about Hamlet (see #11) and his struggle to deal with the mountain range of changes in his life and I see the lack of emotional development from his unhealed childhood wound, I can’t help but wonder if his wound prevented him from developing the tools and the ability to deal with his present day pain, and therefore these changes, in a more healthy manner. As an organic writer, facing pain and change is a conscious choice I make for myself. From my life experiences, I've learned both are best dealt with when I embrace them, not when I fight them.

originally posted November 2012
reposted March 2018

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