It’s not getting better, this melancholy over the Doctor’s demise. According to form, I am still cogitating and grappling with larger issues that I find imbedded in the storyline of this 11th regeneration.
This new year, new decade, has all the potential of greatness that acompanies any new thing. We have all entered into our own type of regeneration with the passing of 2009. And, just like the “new” doctor, we can shed the trappings of the past and become new creatures, so to speak. What holds us back from emerging in this new year as something, someone, different?
Did we, like Doctor Who #10, try to hold on to the comfort of our misery? As much as he didn’t want to regenerate into this new person, much of what he experienced and learned about himself was agonizing to him. His losses were huge and his sense of accountability to past atrocities seemed to have been burdens.
So, what then, made him want to hang on to that and not move forward? That’s what we all face, isn’t it. The need to keep what comforts us and take on new challenges as they appear. How often do we go seeking those challenges, rather than just wait for them to present as such?
Several years back (more than several, actually) I was a hair stylist. That career ended when I started having issues with asthma and allergic reactions to the chemicals and, the worst, cigarette smoke. I had to change vocations, and what I wanted to do was paint. I started emersing myself in PBS painting shows, sitting and watching, but not doing anything. I was stuck, since I couldn’t go back into the salon. A hospital stay had mandated that changes had to be made. I remember distinctly saying to myself ” I want to paint”, and hearing a rather blunt response to that thought: then pick up a paintbrush and paint.
That was it. Not a great revelation, except that it was. The simplest road to fulfilling ambition or vision is to take the first step. I wanted to paint, but I didn’t want to fail or face rejection. I was letting what hadn’t even occured stop me from ever beginning. That was stupid and short sighted of me, and hearing that one phrase of instruction changed me.
I did begin painting, and eventually gained enough faith in my abilities to start a career as a muralist. If you want to test your nerves, paint a picture on someone’s wall. I learned to look past the inevitability that my work would probably, someday, be painted over as the decor changed. The main thing was that I painted, and created and looked past what might have stopped me from embarking on this delightful phase of my artistic life. I had regenerated, and gone from one career to another.
This is what has come to my mind in light of all of the Dr. Who talk and thought. If I had clung to the familiar, even though it was detrimental to my health, secure in those skills and surroundings, I would most certainly have missed what became a creatively fulfilling period in my life.
If the Doctor hadn’t regenerated, how much of the angst and anger of that incarnation would have continued to fuel his journey. His sorrow was immense, his regrets seemingly overwhelming. He really did need to move on, and his story will be better for having done so.
I’m finally reconciling these last Tennant episodes. It’s not the actor alone who needed to change. The Doctor had to change in order to grow and be better. Russell T. Davies knew what he was doing here in response to his Doctor, and understanding this opens the door to the next one.
I want change and growth as well. We all look forward to the possibilities of the new year, so now is the time to purpose in our hearts and actions to create that change as well as flow with it. The Doctor was thrust into his, and he didn’t want to go. I will go willingly, without the fires and drama that resisting change brings with it.
Bring it on, 2010! Allons-y!