Regeneration, Care of the BBC

Since I was a little girl, I’ve enjoyed the BBC show Dr. Who, particularly the Tom Baker Dr. Who when I was little, and now all the new reboot Doctors. I especially love the re-generation story lines when the doctor seems to die and is immediately reincarnated into a totally different person, who sounds different and generally speaks and dresses differently and has other kinds of charm and energy, but somehow embodies the same philosophy and all the same knowledge. This metaphor seemed particularly apt to me yesterday as I was sitting on the trolley, thinking about my current transition between skill sets, populations, peers, and focus. I was trying to mentally sketch the person I am becoming but also considering the multiple past selves I already contain that are totally invisible to the casual observer–it’s not only the good Doctor who does this: in some sense, each human life is a story of countless regenerations. Hair cut to hair cut, lover to lover, bell bottoms to jeggings. Older people are icebergs–so much floats beneath the surface: forty years of flirtations, seductions, griefs and small triumphs, career changes, jobs and hobbies taken up and discarded, tie-dye tshirts made on the kitchen stove–it’s all there, past knowledge, past hope just waiting to be recalled, reactivated. I too forget, when faced with an older woman, how she must have danced and blushed at other points.

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