I lived in Poulsbo, Washington. It was a very special hiding place for a short while. Leaving the Marine Corps, reconnecting with childhood summers in Washington and trying to sort out the questions, much less the answers, of life.
Washington’s soft rain and rich beauty keep life possible in what otherwise would be a depression mill of dark and damp. It is where I moved from existential cynicism, to a brief effort at New Age fancifulism, to Christian paradoxism. It is where I had a punctuated equilibrium experience.
Eldredge and Gould popularized that idea in evolutionary theory to explain the phenomena of stasis followed by sudden change. The assumptions of many biologists from Darwin’s theory of natural selection was that there was gradual change of species spread out over time. It was rather controversial when it was admitted that the fossil record was actually quite surprising: same, same, same… different! same, same, same, same…
Like much in science, I can only pretend to follow the nuances and usually pick a philosophical bias to help me fill in my bracket of people and theories to favor in the tournament of ideas. I continually grow in my awe of how much I don’t know, and how much I need to scale back my overconfidence of clarifying for others.
But out of my efforts to understand the ideas of others I often have frameworks which serve nicely as metaphors to organize my experiences. The idea of a herd of whatevers, roaming off the fossilization map into an area that didn’t serve fossil production well, changing deeply, and then reappearing as a fresh ‘other’ relatively suddenly, is fascinating to me. ((again, I’m not really even trying to evaluate evolutionary arguments, I just like the metaphor)).
In life I have experienced punk-eek; punctuated equilibrium. Stasis: same, same, same, same… then I drop off into a different environment and then emerge, different.
Houston 2012; Do we have a problem?
Poulsbo was a place of change, and now I wonder if our curious condo on Milwee St. in Houston is another. I’m still in the marsh, and so I don’t know if I will emerge same, same, or different. But what I do notice is that although I have wanted to write publicly, regularly, something has held me from it. I think it is partly that the change process prefers privacy; separation from the forces of stasis.
Perhaps I should be concerned, though. Poulsbo was such a beautiful place, it brought me some beautiful hope. Milwee? Not so much. Then again, maybe I’m ready for an even deeper and more beautiful hope in this aesthetically traumatized zone. Like the drought of last summer, some trees dried and died, others grew roots deeper than ever, and will be stronger than ever.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.