It’s late summer in New York. We are exiting the M train at the Dumbo stop and are headed for the pier. The afternoon light is soft and the air is placid, easy to breath. We brush past the throng of people, past the humid, piss-scented air and emerge under the cerebral sky overhead. There is a blithely tune playing in my head, syncopated, punctuated, deliberate.
My world is clearer as of late. It’s been a slow and steady process and I’m moving forward, present tense. In the past few months, I’ve gained some clarity of my place in the world: how to lead a deliberate, purposeful life, and to be more kind and observant of the world around me.
There is an economic principle known as Creative Destruction, sometimes referred to as Schumpeter’s gale (German: schöpferische Zerstörung), that describes the idea that when things are stagnant in a country—often economically—it takes a massive disruption of the existing order to improve things and promote growth. Think of it as though a forest, thickened and densely packed together so that no sun reaches the lower surfaces, and everything on the floor starts to rot, catches fire or some other disaster clears some space, and things can start to grow again. I could think of no better way to describe the last year and a half of my life as relating to this principle.
Indeed, almost two years ago a massive gale inundated my life and I am forced to slowly pick up the pieces. Naturally, some pieces are still there, and some others, less desirable, pieces are discarded. I like to think of life as a series of these events. As a result, my ideas are always in flux–I never stop growing, always refining. Though I look at my old self with chagrin, I recognize that it’s taken that part of my life to grow into who I am today. As Big Mama said, “Darling, forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.“