There are lots of things that I love about our island.
The list is really too long to mention all the way through, but one of the things that I appreciate has to do with our four-way stop.
Yes, I love that we only have one main intersection and that it does not have a stoplight, but the thing that I love best about our town hub is what makes it different from any other intersection—that I know of— in the world.
It’s the words that greet you from the pavement as you cross the street. No matter what direction you walk, as you traverse the crosswalk, you see: “Evolve or Die.”
Shining out from the dark pavement is a three-word sentence that seems to sum up just about everything to me.
Evolve or die. Grow or whither. Change or stagnate.
In one amazingly short sentence, this street art sums up what may be the only choice any of us ever truly make. It reminds me of a scientific fact I learned last year.
In 1977, a man named Ilya Prigogine won the Nobel Prize in chemistry because he proved, without a doubt, that when systems come to a point of chaos they can do one of two things: die or reorganize at a greater capacity. He demonstrated that every system contains subsystems that are constantly in flux.
Sometimes a single fluctuation or a combination of them can be so magnified that it shatters the pre-existing system, causing it to either “evolve or die.”
The interesting thing is that you can’t know in advance whether the system will disintegrate or leap to a new level. But it must do one or the other.
In short, our intersection art sums up a scientific notion that warranted a Nobel Prize.
And as an island with about 11,000 specimens of the most amazing and complex walking, talking, chemical systems there are, the words seem apropos.
I believe, as conscious beings, we have some choice in the matter. We can choose the ways in which we grow. At no other time more than the New Year do we seem to recognize this collectively.
I love how every January, each month stretches out before us like an unwritten slate. Whether we choose to fill it with a masterpiece or some doodles, or make our doodles into masterpieces, is entirely up to us.
We are each conscious system reorganizers at this time of year— vowing to make changes in the sub-systems that make up our lives: our health, our finances, our family life.
So I wish you the best of luck with whatever system or systems you are currently reorganizing. And if in a few months you need a little extra help remembering “why” or “what for” or just how fresh those months to come still can be, I recommend glancing down the next time you cross at the four-way stop.
Written right there, in black and white, is a generous reminder from an anonymous soul that no matter what direction you choose, you can leap to a new level and evolve.
Aimée Cartier is a writer, intuitive and the founder of Spreading Blessings Media. More about her work can be found at www.spreadingblessings.com.
PUBLISHED IN THE VASHON-MAURY ISLAND BEACHCOMBER, Wednesday, January 21, 2009