Event Horizons

Everyone, at least once in their lives, goes through an experience so profound, so traumatic, so transformative that it leaves them forever changed.  I call these times Event Horizons, after the point of no return around a black hole.  Event horizons are moments of deep metamorphosis that, while often painful, result in profound growth- events after which we look back and say to ourselves “I was such a different person then!”

Some people only go through one Event Horizon in their lives; maybe it’s the birth of a child, or the passing of a loved one.  For others change is a recurring and continuous process.  People who purposely re-invent themselves, whether it’s the lawyer who quits to pursue a passion for ballet, the middle manager who decides to become a pastry chef or the doctor who finds his passion in acting, absolutely fascinate me!  It takes a certain kind of courage to step over these boundaries.  But I have also met people who have had these transformations thrust upon them.  For instance I have met multiple cancer survivors, who while they describe their treatment as pure hell still find personal growth from the experience.

When a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, it goes through a chrysalis stage.  The chrysalis starts as a green protective shell but at the end of the metamorphosis it becomes clear.  The texture of the old caterpillar can still be seen as a translucent skin, about to be torn asunder when the butterfly emerges.  But for a moment what was and what will be coexist in a transition state.  This is what I’m trying to illustrate – that moment of the Event Horizon when everything is about to be transformed and reborn.

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