Fabric of Change: A Writer Wednesday Post

August 29th, 2012 | Posted by Irene in Essays - (12 Comments)


Rug Shop Truth, photo & all text
© Irene O’Garden, 2012


Identity redux, this week–

To listen to this post please click here:Fabric of Change

Bittersweetly turning season. Fall promise crisp as a bosom of starched cotton; melancholy on the shoulder like a swathe of tulle.

Children we first knew as eye-gleams in the faces of our friends, are now off to college in dorm-crammed cars.  Other friends mend, ornament or discard their careers. Still others delicately extricate themselves from artful cozy nests they’ve woven over decades, carrying bright bits to smaller dwellings, leaving fluff and twigs behind.

“The hardest part of moving is getting over the idea of it,” says one friend. “So much of my identity has been wrapped up here.” Soon, I’ll shrug off an old kimono of identity myself.

Old wisdom surfaces with the ache and urge of incoming autumn: identify with exteriors–a job, a sports team, a house, even a relationship– and with every change, identity’s as slippery as taffeta.

But shifting seasons whisper true identity is changeless, interior, flesh to the fabric of change, not tailored but felt: the steady, ever-present watcher of change, whose costumes come and go and are to be experienced and appreciated and mourned and celebrated, but never confused with Self itself.  The more we sense our deep identity, the more smoothly change folds into the wardrobe of experience.


How are things changing for you this season?

Identity: a Writer Wednesday Post

April 25th, 2012 | Posted by Irene in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Image and text © Irene O’Garden


What follows is the first in a series of reflections. These arise most vigorously when I take my annual writing retreat, but can sneak up anytime. I took the accompanying photograph on this year’s retreat.  This figure is one of my most cherished objects. I found her at an outdoor antique store, in her present condition. Though you cannot see it in this photograph, incised beneath her bare feet is the word “Life.” She lives here on my desk, but likes to go on trips.                     


        Heeding at the silver dawn of sixty the ongoing clarification of identity. The ongoing clarification of the ongoing changing identity. And identifying the identity which is steady throughout, always present, who rides the bucking bronco, but is never unseated.

       Still occasionally entertaining the delusion that there is an inside and an outside. That there is a world and a me. Still in kindergarten.     Still teaching in order to learn, learning in order to teach.            Still searching, stretching for the pattern to impose over freedom. Still seeking comfort in syncopation, yearning yet for steady rhythm. Still pausing to spell “rhythm,” still some ancient doubts.        Not knowing the destination, outside of the fiction of death. Yet knowing destination’s not all that important, since each destination is supplanted by another. Direction’s more important. Direction is the pen-name of identity.

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