The Call of the Unknown

Experienced any change recently? Yeah, me too!

Our fifth Meaning Place gathering addressed Change and its many facets on both the very personal, and the societal level.

Change comes in all shapes and sizes: good and bad, incremental and monumental, easy and gut-wrenchingly difficult. We were quick to find out that all of us in attendance had experienced beautifully transformative moments of change as well as times when change ruthlessly destroyed all that was dear to us. We’ve all known the joy it offers and have also convulsed in the tears it brings.

Change is change; A neutral thing unto itself. It is our relationship to what is being changed that assigns its emotional charge.

Things around us are constantly changing, such as cells, bodies, seasons, landscapes, etc. We are, therefore, pretty well predisposed to go with the flow of these anticipated changes. But throw an unexpected change at us or superimpose it on us and we have ourselves a crisis. Break one of our carefully constructed categories (be they constructed by ourselves or our ancestors/culture/institutions) and we start to see the Unknown lurking around every corner.

Picture this: You are walking down a well-trodden path, flanked by nice sturdy walls. The walls are your categories and known constants. They keep you on your path, and keep anything new/unexpected/threatening at bay. But every so often, you pass areas where the wall is crumbling. You may see beautiful pastures on the other side or intimidating darkness, maybe there are some small tracks visible or it may be completely uncharted territory. At times the holes are so big that what is on the other side spills onto your path and engulfs you. Those holes are change. You can even choose to make those holes yourself.

Image by Mariana Cook, via

The questions we as travelers might want to ask ourselves, however, are these:

Do I believe myself capable/worthy/adequate of exploring one of these unknown paths?
Do I trust myself?
Can I allow myself to be curious about this new option?

You’ve all seen The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, right? Remember the scene when the little girl first goes through the wardrobe and finds herself in the snowy park with the goat-person walking around? The ante room to Narnia?! That’s what it feels like when you decide to become curious about one of those holes, aka a new option. You are not in Kansas anymore, but you also don’t know yet what the new world is like and what it will have in store for you. It’s that moment when a friend all of a sudden becomes a love interest and 20 years later you find yourself married, living a life that only exists in this form because you are with them. The smallest switch can lead to enormous consequences, and that my friends, is some hopeful sh*t.

The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

But as my friend-turned-husband pointed out to me, once you have entered the anteroom you have also, knowingly or not, agreed to give up control, especially the further in you go. You’ve taken the risk of exploring the new, and since we don’t yet know the rules and customs of this strange world, who are we to impose our foreign laws unto it? And as much as I hate to admit it, this goes both ways. The more we want to be in control, the less adventures we will have.

What is this control we are so attached to anyways? A walled-in road? If we know that all roads, paths, and thoroughfares lead to the same destination, let’s be wise in choosing our route.

So take heart, and ask yourself what you are curious about these days. Change won’t be denied. All we can do is to grow our hearts so we may weather the inevitable storms.

Save the date for Meaning Place round 6, PLAY (thank god!) on June 18th, 10-11.30am.


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