Spring has been a busy season so far- contrasting dramatically with winter's feeling of stagnation. The past week has brought a lot of change - the fourth week of a new job, the purchase of a new home, and the packing of an old one. These changes reminded me of a beautiful poem I heard while attending nutrition school in New York. The poem is called The Flying Trapeze. I will be taking a break from writing this season to focus on settling into my new job and home. I anticipate the bounty of summer to inspire writing on everything vibrantly green, tasty, local and creative... Until then, I wish you a gorgeous spring!
Poem listed below. Featured artwork: new logo work for the nonprofit Hold On Hope. Logo design by Jenna Gavula.
The Flying Trapeze
Sometimes, I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I’m hurdling across space between the trapeze bars.
Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control. I know most of the right questions, and even some right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily, or not so merrily, swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see?
I see another trapeze bar looking at me. It’s empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new bar as my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present well-known bar, to move to the new one.
Each time it happens, I hope–no, I pray–that I won’t have to grab the new one. But deep down I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moments in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab the new bar. Each time I do this I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurdles I have always made it. Each time, I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless basin between the bars. But I do it anyway, I must.
Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call faith. No guarantees, no net, no insurance, but we do it anyway because hanging on to that old bar is no longer an option. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of “the past is over, the future is not yet here.” It’s called a transition. I have come to believe that this is the only place that real change occurs.
I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a “no-thing,” a no-place between places. Sure, the old trapeze bar was real, and as for the new one coming towards me, I hope that’s real too. But what about the void in between? That’s just a scary, confusing, disorienting "nowhere" that must be broken through as fast and as unconsciously as possible. What a shame!
I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are the illusion we dream up to not notice the void. Yes, with all the fear that can accompany transitions, they are still the most vibrant, growth-filled, passionate moments in our lives.
And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to “hang out” in the transition zone between the trapeze bars. Allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening. Hurdling through the void, we just may learn to fly.
Yesterday marked the first day of Stamford Connecticut's 2011 Restaurant Week. This year, there are 24 restaurants participating, with choices ranging from Traditional American, Asian and Mexican fare to culinary specialties like seafood, pizza and home brewed beers.
SBC Downtown Restaurant & Brewery was a favorite of ours when I used to live in Stamford. Their burgers and handcrafted beers were a tasty match, paired with their fun, eclectic ambiance and great location, right by the movie theatre. One of the reasons I loved going out in Stamford was its pedestrian friendly geography; once you're downtown, you can pretty much walk anywhere in the area you'd like.
Kids' Fans is a fitness and nutrition program sponsored by Stamford Hospital. It's purpose is to inspire families to be healthy and active together. This year, Kids' Fans asked me to develop a back side to their annual Restaurant Week placemat, featuring fun activities and games the kids can play while waiting for their meal to arrive. Inspired by whole foods and healthy active living, I tried to create activities that would inspired kids to think healthy and have fun. To get your very own complementary Kids' Fans Placemat, visit one of the 20 KF participating restaurants this week to enjoy a healthy meal with your family and friends. If you know anyone in the Stamford area that might be interested in bringing their kids, please pass this on. Thank you!
Featured above: 2011 Kids' Fans Placemat. Copy, Illustration and Design by Jenna Gavula.
Institute for the Psychology of Eating founder & director Marc David writes an interesting piece on the body metabolism of the sea turtle and how we can apply it to our own bodies. You can read the full article here. To subscribe to Marc's newsletters, fill out the form on his site's homepage.
Photo courtesy of WallpaperWeb.org.
Today I am reminded of the importance of giving to others. I'd like to take this opportunity to send love out to all the people in my life that bring me joy. May these photos remind you of all the wonderful things in your life. And may these thoughts create, as my high school art teacher used to say, "honey in your heart".
Photography by reading my tea leaves.