Letting Go


Watching the first yellow leaves of autumn drift to the ground, I find myself commiserating with the trees. Time to let go, they seem to say, and I realize the message of the past month has been just that. I finished six months of hard work on an educational app for the National Archives, and it is now making its way into classrooms around the country (Congress Creates the Bill of Rights). I released a new edition of flower prints, "Limelight," as part of a large commission. My house was burglarized, forcing me to reconsider the importance of things and replace my most necessary equipment. And I will travel to my mother-in-law's funeral for a last goodbye. "Tout passe, tout casse, tout lasse," my Parisian mother used to say (everything passes, everything breaks, everything wears out). As an infant temporarily abandoned during World War I, she had grown up with a much more fatalistic take on the vicissitudes of life, and she found comfort in reminding herself that change is the only constant. But there are other, more positive aspects of change: release, relief, and renewal. Letting go is hard at times, but it clears space for something new to arrive. An empty hand can open to new gifts. My daughter-in-law is weeks away from delivering her second son. I will travel to LA to lend support to the family. What better example of positive change than the arrival of a newborn. And what better way to fill empty hands than holding the baby and hugging his older brother.