Prompt #2: Phases of Matter
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As the pandemic winter begins to thaw, we might consider how our experience resembles one of the three phases of matter. Are we stuck where we sit, wedged solidly into a corner like an ill-fitting chair? Do our emotions overwhelm us without warning like a flash-flood's liquid panic? Or are our souls numb, every craze line and crevice filled in with the inescapable air of exhaustion?
We are who we are: irreducible. Like atomic matter, we also experience ourselves in ways which phase and shift. During our transition out of the psychic and physical restraints of Covid, we can ask ourselves what phase of matter we might become. Solid, liquid, or gas?
Solids hold their shape with authenticity.
Liquids take the shape of their containers revealing the contours of relationships.
Gases fill spaces with invisible presence, a subtle persuasion influencing life.
In the case of ice, water, and steam, HEAT serves as the catalyst
transforming one phase of matter into the next.
We can ask: what catalyses us?
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11/15/2022 10:19:42 pm
1. Think about what a change of phase might look like for you. What phase best describes your experience right now? Moving from solid to liquid to gas AND/OR from gas to liquid to solid, which direction do you sense you're headed in? Does this surprise you?
1/15/2023 05:44:22 pm
"It is okay for me to take my time." I painted the phrase onto a piece of paper and taped it to my wall.
11/20/2022 08:50:53 pm
Before Covid, I seemed like a complicated person, always moving inside and outside myself like ice clinking stylishly in a glass of water or hot water boiling, belching steam. The three phases of matter described me perfectly--all three in flux all the time. I was vibrant. I was confusing. Call it what you will.
11/26/2022 05:13:44 pm
Such an interesting question, because we ourselves live by blurring boundaries between phases of matter: air, water and solid. And if we ourselves weren’t pretty completely made up of permeable membranes, we wouldn’t be alive at all. (Nor would any other living creature for that matter..) Of course we can relate this to Covid: aerosol transmission of a virus is obvious, the interference with the oxygen transfer in our lungs….you got it. To answer the blog question: what phase of matter am I, now? I don’t think, all things considered, that I (we) are exactly solid, with climate change, probably that time has passed. But liquid, e.g. water, yes! That is the ‘best’ in a weird way; again, relating it to our blog and Covid recovery, recovery in general, how water is the core of biological bodies. (I’m betting everyone reading this can immediately think of ways to apply this to Covid..) And we’ve had to work at being liquid these past couple of years; that is, incredibly flexible, keeping moving, no matter what. Solid is hard to work with, solid doesn’t react well to change: solids splinter, break. Air is impossible to hold on to and given how everything is changing around us all the time, I don’t feel thinking of myself and my friends as air… works. But liquid: yes, we are all trying to be more and more flexible in how we think, how we interpret and how we react. (Terrible pun: wrapping one’s mind around something works best as liquid….) I feel ‘liquidy’ in that I try to move over the rough places with relationships, with my own expectations. I keep trying to make peace with having a day of ‘no accomplishment’ because being alive, drinking, is enough given the state of things. Trying to keep shape-changing in an instant, changing direction or speed, instead of holding solid to what I thought yesterday. (Of course, I refuse to have the word ‘flow’ in this comment. :)
11/29/2022 07:34:54 am
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