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Waiting for fall to drop November 9, 2008

Posted by eyegillian in change, life.
Tags: , , ,


Fall has always been my favourite season, full of anticipation, the promise of renewal and new beginnings. For most of my formative years, that new beginning was a new school year. Even after many years of full-time work, I still rely on the reviving tang of cold autumn air to wake me up after a somnolent summer.

But this year is different. This fall feels like sorrow.

Nobody close to me has died. I haven’t lost my job, or my partner. On the surface, at least, everything is the same. But I have been grieving, because my colleague did lose her job, and it feels like everything I have worked so hard for has been lost as well. I have poured nearly eight years’ worth of effort, love, inspiration and creativity into that job. And now it feels as if the organization has devalued my work, eviscerated the programs, the publications, the vision I helped to nurture.

Ironically, I’m the change person at our office. I’m always coming up with new and different ways to do things. Put an obstacle in my way, and I create a different way. I take on any challenge with optimism (sometimes over-optimism) and energy.

But this time, change has broadsided me. I’m caught off-balance by a reactionary circle-the-wagons “cost-cutting” decision that puts security ahead of vision. Of course, there has always been that tension between the seers and the scoffers, the doers and the heel-diggers. But I never thought the naysayers would cut off the visionaries, that the small-minded would win. So much for optimism.

In the midst of all of this, I have been trying to prepare for other changes, good changes. But I feel tired, angry and sad. I’m struggling to find the energy and creativity to meet the future; I’m missing my optimistic reboundability.

So, that’s fall, falling, fallen. Now the season is changing again, winter is a-coming in, and with it a bareness that’s feels like a kind of release. The simplicity of bare branches appeals to me now. And now I’m thinking about taking photographs, and writing. By the time the snow flies, maybe I’ll be ready for something new.

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1. lavenderbay - November 9, 2008

You’ve been living in November for a few months now — no wonder you’re down. I’m glad to hear that you’re ready to do a little more writing and photography. I may even let you borrow your camera! 🙂

2. Wound Up « Voice of the Turtle - November 9, 2008

[…] on your blogrolls. In case you don’t use feeds, I would like to let you know that she wrote a new entry this […]

3. Dennis the Vizsla - November 9, 2008

It sounds like the events at your job are validating your decision to move on. I would be ready for a change after something like that, too.

4. eyegillian - November 9, 2008

You’ll let me borrow my camera, eh? Gee, um, thanks Lavenderbay! I’m looking forward to stretching my creaky creative mind, to thinking beyond the tasks needed to merely function.

Thanks, Dennis. You’re right: it is a validation. I just wish I was ready to move now!

5. Gina - November 9, 2008

Sounds like they don’t see the big picture. Maybe winter will be simple and reviving.

6. eyegillian - November 9, 2008

Yes, that’s how it feels to me, Gina;. And I am looking forward to winter… remind me that I said that when it’s 30 below with an icy wind nipping at my ears and I’m whimpering for spring! 😉

7. Alyson - November 10, 2008

You know what E.g.? I’ve noticed a few people around me mentioning that they feel a bit….well, ‘lost’ was the word one person used…and I got it straight away. I think there’s something in the air; a crossroads, if you will, pending a lifestyle change of importance. Hang in there, Baby!

8. paula - November 10, 2008

It’s good to see you back! I’m sorry you’ve been winded unawares and it’s left you reeling.

Now you can count your lucky stars I didn’t ‘proximate’ you! But on second thoughts I’m very happy to if it’ll give you impetus albeit a rather banal one…

Let me know.

9. Shaw - November 10, 2008

Thank you for offering your thoughts, feelings, visions, and storms. None of it, I’m sure, is easy, but your experience of it is clearly authentic.

Your post yesterday reminded me of a story I tell myself during my own darker days, a story I had heard from the poet who had lived it, Jack Gilbert. He said that when his wife Michiko died he cried every day for two years — and that he wouldn’t trade that time of sorrow, of loss, of mourning, for anything. He said that time allowed him to feel, to feel intensely alive.

I am still learning to be, just be, with my own grief, rather than running away from it or clutching it as if it were a steering wheel on a busy highway.

Be well.


10. eyegillian - November 10, 2008

I am really touched — and, I must admit — a bit surprised at how many friends have come by with encouraging words. Your warm response is so very heartwarming. Thank you.

Alyson, thank you for your encouragement. I like the idea that this may be a “crossroads” kind of time, that there are other changes in the air. It’s a hopeful thought.

It’s good to be back — thanks for coming by, Paula. I read your “proximate” post, and thanks for the offer, but… I don’t really have any desire to be on the list. Some of the “memes” that go around blogland are interesting writing exercises, but I feel uncomfortable with the awards that are sent out in chain-letter style, seemingly designed only for replication.

And, Shaw, what a lovely response. Thank you for the story and humorous image of grief as a steering wheel. As I’ve begun to recognize my own grieving, I’ve come to realize that I have had little in the way of loss touch my life. I hardly knew my grandparents, my extended family is small, and I haven’t kept close connections with many people. I know that this will change soon — my parents are now moving into their elder years, and my friends are increasingly touched by loss — so perhaps I need to develop a deeper appreciation of sorrow, to recognize the shadowy presence of death (not only in the literal sense) so I can commit to living more fully… I certainly find tears, and feelings, far closer to the surface now than in my so-called successful years.

11. livingisdetail - November 10, 2008

What an achingly beautiful photograph E.g. I am sorry you are going through such a sad time at the moment. I hope you will find happier days following your creativity where it will lead you next.. Did I mention that photo is stunning? 🙂

12. eyegillian - November 11, 2008

Thanks for the compliment, livingisdetail — that photo just seemed to fit what I was trying to say. And yes, it’s the unpredictable winding road of life… this is obviously a big elbow turn that I’m in right now, but something good is bound to be around the corner!

13. goodbear - November 13, 2008

hi eyegillian. sounds like you’re in the emotional horse latitudes. you welcome change, but the only change you have is far from progress and none of the good changes are timely enough or energizing enough to put wind in your sails.

it’s good to write and photograph and welcome a sad mood sometimes. it’s ok to be off-balanced every now and then.

the work you have done there has meaning, even if it doesn’t seem like the decision makers recognize it.

and….i love the photo!!!

14. eyegillian - November 13, 2008

Thanks for your thoughtful response, goodbear. I’ve just checked Wikipedia to find out what horse latitudes are, and what a fascinating explanation! Yes, I have been becalmed — thank you for that apt way of describing my situation — but already I’m sensing the wind changing. I think I’ve learned something important, though, about taking the time to process change.

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