Change is coming…again



In my life I’ve heard and will probably hear again those axioms: “Knowledge is power.” and “Ignorance is bliss.” Almost every morning the familiar voices from CBC rouse me from my slumber and I ponder those two clichéd statements. Calamity upon calamity, sorrow upon sorrow – I wonder whether the information I’m exposing myself to is empowering or if I’d be happier unaware.

There is that space of not knowing which contains wonder and a possibility for growth. My glass of water, my food, my thoughts – where do these things come from before we met and where will they go after we part? How do I know something? Did I hear it, read it, a film, the internet, was it from experience or my gut? I’m not trying to question everything that I know, because there are some things that you just know, you know?

Last night my wife, Catherine, was falling asleep and sad about some news a friend gave us. As I held her she said, “I don’t want things to change.” I knew what she meant in relation to the specific situation but it felt like such a general and weighted declaration. I responded affirmatively, “Yes you do baby, change is wonderful. It’s how we learn and it’s happening all the time.” We held together close and talked about the world until we were too tired.

I had this thought that the places we look for knowledge are kind of like eating a balanced diet. What diversity of sources and perspectives and media and experiences are we involved with and are they sustaining continued learning? Did I have too much basketball on TV, Burma on the radio, China in the paper, animation on the net, and not enough gardening in the dirt, Genghis on paperback, or conversations over tea?

I’m turning 30 and I’m having a good laugh at myself about where I thought I would or should be at this point. Expectation, anticipation, and faith are all at play. Some amazing and unexpected things have happened along the way. My plans have been completed, changed and some left in the dust. My future plans will integrate a growing awareness that doing what I can in spite of the troubles and because of the troubles in the world is enough.

As I get a little older, one moment at a time, I think more about my place in a greater continuum, elders passing and children coming. There are parts of my childhood still very much with me. I also feel as if the person I want to become is showing himself each day. May the next thirty be filled with as much love and creativity as the first. We’re all just trying to figure it out as we go along.

Ishi graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2001, with a BFA major in photography. He makes films, collects cacti, and ponders many things. Currently he is doing what he can for himself and the planet. Waiting to hear echoes back…