Tide marks. The gifts of change

Berta was my oldest student. She was 88 when I rendered her portrait. So she saw  eight decades come and go and always said she was thankful for all of it. She saw the best and the worst that we are capable of, yet accepted  it all with understanding & generosity. ‘it’s all part of the ongoing richness of life’.

It takes seven years for all the cells that make up  your body to have completely changed, some numerous times & some taking the full term of this cycle of transformation . So the features you now carry aren’t simply altered by the unfolding effects of biological time.  Your complexion is cast from within.  We show & share our internal conditions by the way they rise to the surface & take on a face. In the way we see  the world and in the way we are  seen in return.  We are a reflection of all the things we’ve had to forgive & forget, let go & leave behind.   All the ways you’ve  said hello , yes & no. What you’ve taken home, taken on, adorned & adored, celebrated & surrendered.  All these tender traces map the way our lives have ebbed & flowed. Like tide marks revealing how we’ve grown & expanded. How we have explored or simply stayed moored to a particular story, harboured off from the thrill & tingle of a new invitation , a new horizon.  

Maybe there is a part of us that never ages, simply deepens & matures. Yet is ever fresh & continuous in each & every experience. Perhaps we need to form a new kind of friendship with how we change. One that is strengthened by innocence, forgiveness, vulnerability. As well as courage , enthusiasm & joy for the gift of being here at all.

Andres Noren