In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cell Division


Cell Division is an important part of life, literately, and it’s also a great name for a rock band. Every living thing is made from cells. Cell division is the process that cells go through in order to divide; division equals growth and LIFE. Sounds repetitive but rather simple, no pun intended.


Currently I am going through a cell division of my own. I’m not gaining weight, but rather experiencing growth of the cognitive kind. The little creative cells inside my id and imagination are growing and bubbling with life- to the point of division. It’s not that much different than giving birth. In the case of babies of course it takes TWO people to make one. In regards to the creative process, ONE person creates, creates and creates some more! Duplicating themselves into their medium whatever it may be. When an artist is not creating they are thinking about creating; it’s a love affair of sorts.

Each and every cell in your body contains a complete set of DNA, the double helix. Our bodies are just a collection of cells. “All DNA here on this planet is exactly the same, just put together differently. All life is not far removed from itself.” to quote my husband Christopher the Ecologist.

Cells may divide for several reasons, and there are two types of cell division depending on the purpose. The cell division associated with sexual reproduction is one type, called meiosis. The other type, the cell division associated with growth and cell replacement or repair, is called mitosis. In both types of cell division, the nucleus splits and DNA is replicated. Think about that moment, that moment right before division. Life bursting and bubbling up inside you, the cell, frothing out copies of bits of your DNA, until the fully cloned strand is complete, and then BOOM! Your brush hits the canvas; you type a word, or sing a note! Creativity is born!

Yellow Brick Road
In addition to dividing I’m also traveling; moving away from my Madrona Grove and into the medium size city by the bay that is Bellingham. Hopefully the ever powerful “luvs” that I get from my Madronas will be with me as I travel, much like the way the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion traveled with Dorothy on her venture to OZ. Will the love from the island help and encourage me while I travel into the unknown lands of lighted intersections and malls? Will the resident orca families remind me that it’s not ok to mix jeans with skirts, as so many B’ham women do? “Keep it simple, Shannon!” they might shout out to me as they swim away in their black and white attire. Will the Island Rock that I love so much help me to stand off the urge to have an affair with my yoga instructor or the McDonald’s drive through?
 …sigh… A new world full of new temptations and opportunities.


They say the first step is the hardest. Why? Because it usually involves a life changing decision. Change is stressful and a bit scary. I say the first step is the most exciting part of any venture. Taking a step, making a commitment, moving forward using all your breath, to steal a phrase, is refreshing. It is what life is all about- life is cell division!

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