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Shedding the Old Skin

Interesting things are happening. Symbolically and actually.

One of our neighboring building used to be called The Old Time Religion Hall. It was not a particularly attractive building, cinder block construction covered with square yellow tiles and tiny windows. Various rehabs through the years had sandblasted the exterior so it could be painted, and enlarged the windows and doorway. The interior had been gutted and redone several times. It has been a jazz club, a nightclub, a Kosher restaurant and, most recently, a seafood restaurant.

Now I see that the tile is being removed. Workers were out today with sledge hammer and crowbar going at it, peeling away a layer of ugliness. The facade will be refreshed and more open, the doorway moved again and brick more suited to the surrounding buildings will replace the old tile.

I see this as symbolic of what we need to do internally as well as externally. Peel away the ugly. Replace with something better. We have lived for a long time with something that was not pleasing, and never thought to change it because we were used to it and it was easier to stay the same. It is hard work to shed your skin and even harder to grow a new one. But it must be done from time to time.

I am watching the process of this building shedding its skin in preparation for its new life. It will be a restaurant again - what kind and who will run it is a closely guarded secret. Which is symbolic, too, if you think of it. This building has a future, and it will be the same as before - but different. It will be re-imagined and reformed and become useful again.

Let us imagine ourselves changed, but the same. In the same place but with a different attitude, perhaps. It is hard. But it is what we need to do to survive. Difficult times require facing challenges and adapting to them and seeing the possibilities.

I would not have thought of peeling the skin off a building. Now that I see it, I wonder why I didn't. What skin do I want to peel off? And what will be underneath?

Stay tuned.

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