Monday, June 22, 2009

What the seeds of loss can sow

It seems like the last week or so has really been about losses of various kinds. Whether it's a tragic loss, like the young Iranian woman, Neda, or the loss of a job or the loss of hope, it means it is time to stop and take a look around, reassess.

If the recent events in Iran don't remind us all how important one person's voice can be, then we aren't paying enough attention. For all the noise and disagreement about who should say what and whom we should be validating, the bottom line is that the Iranian people now have it in their power to enact real change. They cannot do it alone, but when the time comes, the world is ready to step forward and offer whatever support is requested and/or needed. Twitter and all the social networking sites have supplied some unique insights into Iran and the usual suspects (The New Yorker, The Atlantic) have provided fascinating background and context for those who are willing to take a few minutes to read the pieces by Jon Lee Anderson, Laura Secor, or Andrew Sullivan.

On the other end of the spectrum is Christian Lacroix who is mourning the loss of his name, his design empire. (Okay, maybe empire is an overstatement.) But his comment about losing, in a certain specific sense, his family name really did hit home. Once you've lost that quintessential nugget of identity, it can't be revived in any simple way, no magic wand can be waved. It is gone, and someone can buy it--yes purchase it--to do with as they please and thereby destroy what it once meant. Not that I've never been a big fan of his work, a little too OTT for this girl, but I always loved the goofy explosions of color he brought to Eddie's wardrobe on AbFab. That aside, he's fighting mad...and that's probably a good thing. It seems to have renewed his creativity and sense of purpose.

Now somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is a personal loss of a part of my employment. And while to me it is all consuming, I know, deep down, that it is something millions across the country are dealing with. This is the second time in 18 months where my world has been, if not shattered, at least shaken, by a change in employment. What to do? Get angry, yes. Burn bridges, no, that's not really me. Take action? Sure, but what action?

The common ground for all this? How we react to loss. The Iranian people are galvanized and united by their tragic loss; Christian Lacroix is, to paraphrase a little, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore; and me...I'm mad, sure, but I'm still a little too freshly wounded to know what I am going to do. Redefine, retool, reconnect and revitalize. A few words that spring to mind that might be the start of my own personal renaissance. Stay tuned...

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