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Renovations were being made in the building across the courtyard from us. The small apartment there is identical to ours in every way. Upgrading the bath meant removing the existing bathtub which was built-in with a nice tile manufactured most likely around 1900. When they began the demolition they found that an old claw-footed tub was at the center of it all. I snapped this picture before the old tub was hauled off. The renovation, as always, was noisy and messy and took way longer than expected but the end result was something beautiful.
Art can be like this too, of course. For me, it is a process of winnowing, discarding the things that won't work in a photo and then building up (refurbishing) the strong elements that are already there. And, of course, life can be like this too. The writer, Ann Lamott, said “when everything is awful it’s because something beautiful is about to be born.” In my half a century (plus 10%) I know that there are dark times in which the hours seem endless and we hang on by the slightest thread. It is our nature to hang on, it's really born of our evolutionary and spiritual journey because we know, if only subconsciously, that "something beautiful is about to be born." And because things change, no matter what, nothing stays the same. If we are lucky (and we truly are) we grow into the changes, we learn, we adapt, we evolve.
The part nobody likes is that it can be painful, we feel off balance, disturbed, frustrated, alone, sad while we grapple with change. And humans have found a dizzying array of ways to alleviate this suffering but, in the end, we just live through it, we hang on a little longer. This part of our lives is, as always, noisy and messy and takes way longer than expected but the end the result will, most likely, be something beautiful.