This just in from the Department of Everything Old is New Again, Déjà vu Division: the life of the general populace continues to be lived in well-worn grooves. We do what we do the way we’ve always done it, because that feels familiar and safe and because being challenged and growing are such hard work. It’s funny, though: sometimes it’s this very tendency that leads us directly–bump!–into contact with surprises and serendipitously good new things.
Take Doing the Chores, for instance. I do essentially the same set of major items nearly every day of the week, weeks on end, years at a time. But cleaning the same countertop as always in the kitchen I come across a new ant trail, and that leads me to call Mr Enemy-of-the-Bug-People, and that leads to the investigation that uncovers the Great Carpenter Ant Conspiracy before it can topple my little empire. I take a walk around the exact same route as usual and see a new kind of plant I’ve never seen before and think I may have discovered a pretty native flowering plant that might be a great addition when I get enough saved up to rehab and xeriscape our yard.
And there’s the whole thing about ‘going live’ (as far as I’ve done so by being a new-fledged blogger). While I’ve gone so far with change as to practice my dark arts of writing and drawing and photography and such in a public forum instead of closeted in an obscure garret amid a hovering handful of tubercular bohemians (a.k.a. other artistes), I am still just practicing the same arts with like tools and with similar ends. And here I am, thanks to the instant-community of the internet, seeing endless other writers and artists at work in the same new “studio complex”, learning a world of marvelous new ideas about subject, medium, technique and style, and most of all, “meeting” these impressive and engaging and artful people. Just by doing the writing and drawing that I’ve always done, only in a new work space, suddenly I have the opportunity to connect with some truly wonderful new friends.
And those friends bring me full circle in their own way, too, because as always, the roots of friendship grow best in common ground. The arts and interests and ideas that we share are the rich place where friendships are sown and nurtured. We all look for those things most familiar to us all, reflections of our own lives and loves, in choosing with whom we’d like to spend our time. No wonder I thought I recognized you!