Change is an inevitability. It is peculiar, isn’t it? It can be either a transitive or intransitive verb; and, as used here, a noun. The vicissitudes of life; the daily fluidity of events; fullness of being, the word-picture of a cornucopia, with its brimming abundance of fruits fresh and full of festive florescence of fanciful flavors (yes, the alliteration itself is intentional; it is meant to provide a contrast between change and similarity; of the poetic effect of same or similar consonants, but each with a different word; on the other hand, to apply the term “poetic” may be overstating it).
Then of course change can also mean grief; of death or illness in a family; of broken hearts and homes; of lost dreams and overwhelming hopelessness; as well as hopeful and future-oriented – of engagements, of young people with bright futures (despite the present economy).
Does one deal with the changes of change differently? A static life is a change – it is, by definition, a life without change, motionless, inert, life-less; but as with all things, a static life could only have meaning in contrast to its opposite – a life of constant or chronic upheaval. For the Christian, the age-old grumble has always been: why the excitement over the prodigal son; why shouldn’t the same focus and attention be placed upon the “other”, forgotten son – the one who stood outside in anger and contempt as the party was being thrown for the sinner?
Entrepreneurs and thrill-seekers, from weekend parachuting, bungee jumping, even couch potatoes yelling and screaming for the “home team” (or some such mental affiliation, such as one’s second cousin thrice removed who went to Notre Dame just after World War II) — the adrenalin stream of “change”, in contrast to the quietude of a rock garden where the drama of transformation occurs with the evaporation of the single droplet of morning dew upon the green moss clinging to the pock-marked boulder in a vast sea of pebbles.
We live in times of change; the internet is touted as the great technological change of our times; the young have no memory but for the “now”; time was when a letter was composed for both form and content; the letter writer took great pains to ponder before putting pen to paper, for the wrong thought, wrong word, might mean starting over again. The ‘delete’ button, the ‘cut’, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ buttons were yet to be invented.
The arrival of a letter meant great excitement; a change occurred, and with anticipation one carefully pried the edge of the pasted flap until the forefinger could fit just inside the envelope, then slide across the top to feel the paper crimp, give, resist, tear; open the letter; the careful craftsmanship of the written word, ink on paper, describing emotions, facts, events, a compendium thrown together to create a world contained within the four corners of the pages of a letter; yet, of events which may have happened days, weeks, perhaps months ago; for the letter took time to be delivered.
Care was not only in the crafting; whether months later, or a letter lost for decades, the joy of a letter was eternal. For careful craftsmanship was meant for the eternal. Contrast that to today: email, fax, internet, cell phone, IM, text messaging. Carefully crafted? News from afar? Changes? Is there even time to change? Does anyone know someone anymore?
Time was when change meant a contrast between the constant and the event; death was a part of life; a child was born at home, and perhaps died before his fruition of life was actualized, but again, at home; and grandpa and grandma were to one day die in the care of a family; but now we live in a world where change itself is the constant; and so it goes.