Mutabilis part two


I am deeply relieved to report that I do not have eye cancer. The verdict was ‘currently benign’. This week I have had three biopsies though, one on my nose, one in my hairline and one from my upper arm. I find out next week whether I need to visit my friendly plastic surgeon, again…

Change has therefore been on my mind more than ever.

Mutabilis.  Photo by Grant Brodie.

Mutabilis. Photo by Grant Brodie.

I visited the rose garden at Old Parliament House last week again, where Mutabilis was flowering away. On this trip she was in a cerise mood, rather than her other options of creamy pink or slightly tangerine. Many roses change colour and tone through out their flowering cycle, its one of their many charms. I have never thought of the change in colour as bad. It’s just change, with one shade equally lovely as its predecessor. In fact, I often look for the change with a measure of anticipation. Has Homere gotten a bit pinker with this flush?

In contrast to how I look for change in nature, I find change in human affairs, especially in work affairs, to be a lot more like trouble. Somehow the idea we’re all supposed to take endless amounts of change unflusteredly has become entrenched. I’ve had employers who run change management seminars for their staff, often in relation to restructures. I’ve lost count of the number of restructures I’ve lived through and never once has there been any appreciable positive change at the Indian level. There’s so much change going on that I shy away from initiating changes closer to home that might be fundamentally positive in the long term.

Seeing as I am so change shy, I’m breaking this down into tiny steps. Just gathering data first. I’ve asked for some quotes, I’m doing lots of free writing to see if I can access some deeper layers of resistance, and I’m going back to the gardens to spend some more time with Mutabilis. I wonder what colour she’ll be today.


anniversaries, change, Diabetes, Mutabilis rose

This is Mutabilis, a rose which appears as delicate as butterfly wings but is a tough old biddy.

Mutabilis.  Photo by Grant Brodie.

Mutabilis. Photo by Grant Brodie.

Mutabilis holds multiple colours and shapes in her flowers, giving rise to her name. She is mutable, changeable. In the background shot here, it’s possible to see the dark cerise of another blossom. If you didn’t know her, it might be hard to believe its the same plant.

When I see Mutabilis I am always reminded that change doesn’t have to be bad. However it can be hard to hang onto this insight when you are under great stress. Here’s what is going down this week. Today is my father’s birthday. He would have been eighty one. Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death from multiple cancers. Five years on and no where near any kind of peace with her. Tomorrow my nephew goes for an MRI to hopefully rule out a brain tumour. On Friday I go to the specialist to find out if the black spot in my eye is cancer, or something more benign.

Not all change is beautiful, like Mutabilis. It’s also driving my blood sugars up, this perpetual state of anxiety and grimness. And I’ve discovered that my control hasn’t been as good as i thought. turns out that organ damage can start as low as 8mmol. Luckily, my feet and eyes have escaped. There are no signs of neuropathy. I didn’t appreciate the podiatrist’s attitude of inevitability. Nothing yet, but here’s where it will happen, he said, giving my right big toe a poke.

I wouldn’t mind the thorns of life so much, if there were a few more blossoms to even things out a bit.