The mythological phoenix offers timeless lessons of rebirth and renewal. At the end of its life, the colorful bird is said to build a nest and set itself on fire, only to be born anew from the ashes.
To some extent, disaster zones can also be places of renewal that rise from the ashes. One example of such renewal in the United States is the rebuilding of parts of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Primed for a second serve, I stood at the baseline and raised my tennis racquet. Double faulting had become my forte, which felt so aggravating. Why couldn’t I just get the ball into the service box the first time? But that particular day, it hit me, “Hey, at least the rules of tennis allow for more than one serve!” Right then, instead of resenting my lack of skill and my failure to quickly execute the perfect serve, I started to see that I could let the forgiving rules of the game nurture my progress.
It was spring term of my senior year of college. I had been commissioned to do the graphics for a CD cover, in addition to my normal coursework. But, the record company emailed me to say that my design was inadequate for production. The central image, a photograph, had very poor resolution, and the client couldn’t locate the original picture or the negative to rescan the image. Where was I going to get another idea, quickly?