“The process of transformation consists mostly of decay and then of this crisis when emergence from what came before must be total and abrupt.

But the changes in a butterfly’s life are not always so dramatic.  The strange resonant word instar describes the stage between two successive molts, for as it grows, a caterpillar, like a snake….splits its skin again and again, each stage an instar.  It remains a caterpillar as it goes through these molts, but no longer one in the same skin.  There are rituals marking such splits, graduations, indoctrinations, ceremonies of change, though most changes proceed without such clear and encouraging recognition.  Instar implies something both celestial and ingrown, something heavenly and disastrous, and perhaps change is commonly like that, a buried star, oscillating between near and far.” (p. 83)

-Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

I feel a bit lost at the moment.  I spent the last four years with my whole self immersed in creative and academic work that was so much more than just creative and academic.  It was the start of my life’s work.  Now that I am wandering through this in-between stage, trying to figure out what comes next, I feel as if I don’t ‘fit’ anywhere, that I’m constantly on the outside of each window I pass by,  looking in as I try to find where and what next.  It’s a lonely business, but I know it will end because I’ve been here before.  For the past few days I’ve simply tried to be still and listen: stretched out on the stones of Lyme Regis beach, listening to the gulls and the surf, living off books while watching the world I feel so separate from.

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