Sunday, May 10, 2009


I found some solace in this little piece by W. H. Auden today

"We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die."

I am not one to change easily. But even more than changing work or situation, I resist being changed. One is an outward challenge; the other is an inward work. Change that is outward is preferable to change that is inward, particularly when inward change is what is most needed. But sometimes change of situation and inward change go together, as if calling to one another. But as much as I dread change, as Auden puts it, I am willing to "climb the cross of the moment" and dare to let my "illusions die."

In the spirit of dialog, I welcome comments and/or questions. Click on "responses" below to post. They're moderated only to reduce incivility.


  1. Hi John.

    Are you saying that even when inward change is most needed, outward change is to be preferred?

    Thanks, Doug

  2. No. I was actually trying to make the opposite point. I'm saying that outward change is much easier, the path of least resistance, and is usually preferred and taken instead of the much harder, less readily definable inward changes that are sometimes possible or needed. In most situations, folks make outward changes only. I've done that a few times. This isn't one of those times, however.

    Outward changes are sometimes necessary for other reasons than personal change or resistance to change. Peronsally, I resist change of venue/work in preference for doing inward work -- asking: What's really going on? What do I need to understand? What can I learn, change? What different approaches can I take? What backtracks to make? Etc. Outward and inward change are far from least for me.

    It seems important to recognize, too, that change is not necessarily a negative thing. Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Change--outward and/or inward--can open new possibilities in lots of directions / dimensions.

  3. Cool John, thanks :^)

    Inward change is more important, I agree. But sometimes by changing the outward we (eventually) change the inward as well. Also, inward change that isn't manifested externally as well is troubling, I think. Both are hard for me...

    Regards, Doug


Your tasteful comments and/or questions are welcome. Posts are moderated only to reduce a few instances of incivility.