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When Forced into Scrambled Lines We Make One Line Anyway

I spent my life at sea level.

Now I’m at above 5000 feet and the climate adjustment has scrambled my brain. I’m a regular anagram of humanity’s imperfection these days. Today, it’s gray outside. After several years of writing fiction in gray weather I think to write today. I scramble in current daily interactions to summon up familiar reference points from other places that help shape my relationship to Boulder. And in doing so, I might as well have put salt in my coffee instead of sugar.

It seems when one decides to change, one decides to let the layers of chaos reign; for awhile anyway. New scenes, new events, new people with one point of focus–new organizational structures for living.

Mountain biking in Boulder under big skies where each quadrant holds a completely new landscape is very different than Mountain biking in Forest Park, Portland under gray skies and many, many trees. I had more than enough oxygen and pleasant visions of people, dogs, florescent greens everywhere. And yet something inside was panicked without the sky I have now. But where’s that oxygen? My mileage on the bike has gone from 10 miles per day to 2. But the mileage of the spirit is another thing altogether. Even in thin air and scrambled it’s easy to see that the land here in Colorado is story filled, empathetic, and gently expressive through the animals and people.

I think about the internet. How are we organizing our relationship to something so episodic and random?
The web is lateral not linear, it doesn’t establish time in a hierarchical fashion. We create that hierarchy when we take control of our relationship to it–the context of it’s meaning in our lives. I think the same is true for the big changes. The big moves, the new babies, the losses, the new ideas becoming concrete in the world.

Change is a whole world within itself. It’s necessary, and it’s just this thing that calls you out and says, “So everything’s messy and wonderful and frightening, you started this, so whatyagonnado ’bout it?”

My answer today is to let the single line live amongst the scrambled. That is, adventure into the things that are different, random and some that are the same — the foods that I’ve never eaten before, the thin air that feels like it’s choking out old thoughts and forcing new. Something tells me that amongst all the unfamiliar something else is taking shape. I am just the little flutist in the corner with messy red hair cheering it on.

Dakota on the other hand, on November 7 just held up a simple sign: “I Vote No on Change.” That’s a rabbit for ya!


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  • Lisa Wilder on Nov 13, 2006 Reply

    Change and chaos…you can’t really have one without the other and while they can be a bit frightening on the surface, beneath the fear often lies excitement. Embracing change/chaos is about coming fully alive to the new, to possibility, to being fully present to the multitude of experiences life has to offer.
    I love the contemplative, yet playful, approach you’re taking, Niya, to the changes in your own life, and I look forward with anticipation to hearing more about your experiences.

  • Verna Wilder on Nov 10, 2006 Reply

    Change = Chaos. Yes. Do you know Pema Chodron’s Comfortable with Uncertainty? There is a lot of creativity in that chaos if we let ourselves use it, which it sounds like you’re doing, Niya. Chaos is one of my favorite things to think about. In fact I posted about chaos/creativity on Coachamatic:
    Looking forward to seeing and reading wherever your creativity takes you. And gradually your lungs will adjust to living a mile high. Honest.

  • David B. Leikam on Nov 10, 2006 Reply

    Ah, always a pleasure reading your thoughts Niya. 🙂 Dakota seems like a cool one.
    It’s good to hear about your new changes and explorations into the thin atmospheres of consciousness. Perhaps, a wine bar will refresh those scrambled lines stretching out into the near future of your being in Boulder, CO.
    Perhaps, Dakota will write soon on the thoughts of a rabbit. Memoirs?
    Cheers, David (out west)

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