Saturday, January 4, 2020

Passages | Hanging Art Mobile from Mark Leary Designs

Mobile: Passages (36” x 21”)

 On rites of passage
“But I’m scared,” said little bird.
“I know,” replied bear, “but we’ll be here on the other side.”

Passages is part of my ONE Series, a collection of 1-of-1 bespoke fine art mobiles. Each design in the series is totally unique and will not be reproduced. Your ONE Series mobile is handcrafted in Portland, OR, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. Grab Passages while it's still available.
Thoughts while making
Her name was Anastasia. She spoke slowly, her words distinct and clear. I sat there as she asked me a seemingly endless list of questions, ticking boxes on her computer with my answers.

“Anemia? Arthritis? Asthma?”
“Hernia? Heart disease? Headaches?”
“Skin rashes? Sinus trouble? Shortness of breath?”

How many times had she asked these very same questions, a medical history conflating systems with symptoms, psychology with STDs?

She’d called it a “rite of passage,” and as I was chirping off the string of yeses and nos, I was struck with how few actual rites of passage we have during the bulk of our lives.

Sure, we frontload with “coming of age” rituals. And, yes, we have graduations and weddings, and even retirement parties. But what about the rest of life? Where are all the other markers like Colonoscopia, Menopausism, Crowsfeetasia, and Hairlosseoum?

As we grow older, where do we turn for help to make sense of aging, meaning, and death in the very real ways these show up for each of us every day? Outside of checkboxes on a medical intake form, where are our prescribed rites of passage – that move us from feeling *alone* to *allin* this together?

I am not the first man to lose his hair or have a colonoscopy. I’m not the first person to hit “midlife” with questions, doubts, and fears. Yet we are often left to feel like it’s up to us to figure all this stuff out, isn’t it?

Generations have experienced all of life’s parts and pieces. And there’s wisdom embedded in their experiences, deep, vital, beautiful wisdom to wrap us up, to comfort us, to help carry us forward, integrated & incorporated. But how?

Perhaps it starts with a simple “I’ve been there,” “I’ve felt that, too,” “I’m afraid of the same thing,” “I don’t know what to do,” “Can you help me?”

As I was making this mobile + thinking about my colonoscopy yesterday, I began wondering what I could do to better mark rites of passage in the year ahead. I’m looking forward to it.

If you could create one new rite of passage, what would it be?

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