The following is an unedited transcript for Season 1, Episode 1 of my podcast, Written, Spoken, provided to help all of my readers and listeners — especially those with hearing disabilities or for whom English is not a primary language — access and enjoy the content of each and every episode. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or other platforms here.
The Wave of Change
[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Written, Spoken. This is Season 1, Episode 1. My name is Dave Ursillo. I’m your host. Throughout this inaugural season, I’ll be sharing 10 personal narrative essays and human interest stories with you that I hope are truly worth listening to.
[00:00:15] As a writer and author, I’m celebrating the 10-year anniversary of quitting my job once upon a time in politics and public service — you can imagine why I got out of that line of work — to instead start a career as a writer. And, sharing words has been a really important part of my life for the last 10 years. I have usually done that exclusively in the written format through some self-published books, through over 500 blog posts and essays, and with this podcast — with Written, Spoken — I’m looking to put my voice to the words, and to connect with you in a different way, and hopefully give you some auditory goodness in your ears no matter where you are in the world, starting off with this 10 episode debut season. Ready for the first episode? We’ll dive right in.
[00:01:02] Dear friend, in the months since we’ve last spoken, travels both planned and of the moment have taken me to Italy, London, and Los Angeles. In that time, a lot has happened. I’ve shared coffee with a man who I’d discover steals and sells ancient antiquities from sites of Roman ruins. I’ve scoured one hundred and forty year old paper records and huge, heavy books for traces of my ancestors in a sleepy Southern Italian “commune.”
[00:01:31] I’ve ridden bikes in between Banksy murals in London’s street art rich Shoreditch neighborhood. I’ve signed on to teach writing webinars with an education startup based out of Tel Aviv. And after years of dreaming it, I’ve finally attended my very first Premier League soccer match in person on England’s south coast (with my friend Jonathan who I met last summer in Morocco) — it was a pretty cool moment. Since I wrote you last, I’ve even shaken hands with a Hollywood star whose films I grew up loving.
[00:02:00] And yet, all these truly incredible kind of storybook-esq moments really only scratch the surface of all the silent and rather severe internal changes that I’ve been feeling and trying to catch up with over recent months. If your experience is anything like mine, you encounter these phases in life where vast amounts of change and growth and evolution build with slow but certain momentum. And it’s not like you don’t see the change coming. You can sense it. You might as well be watching the momentum build like a slow low wave on the horizon. But it’s so far off that the sight of it never feels threatening. In fact, you begin to take solace in seeing it. It becomes a sort of assurance, like a familiar face. The impending change becomes a focal point for your meditations, the subject of your journaling, the object of your contemplation. A song on the radio reminds you of the wave. A conversation with a friend over coffee brings your attention back to that source. Sure, it’s a little uncertain what the wave of change will bring, but you trust that you’ll know when it finally arrives. Then one day you’re suddenly soaking wet.
[00:03:19] That’s the best analogy that I can muster for how my inner world has been feeling lately. Maybe you can say the same for your inner world, too. Because despite the highlight reel of cool interesting, even surreal moments that I summarized for you, I’ve found myself suddenly soaking wet with change that I could have told you was coming but still somehow caught me by surprise. After what has in ways been one of my more challenging years in recent memory, I find that my big plans to move down south have been washed away by the wave; that my relationship which spanned a seven year odyssey was ready and needed to meet its final conclusion; and that with both my mind and heart are alternating between excitement and dread as visions of new possibilities match against the still withering stories of what could have been but will never be so.
[00:04:11] Creativity which is the force by which all things in our world and in our lives change feels like this. It’s never just positive and beautiful and hard eyes emojis. It’s also never just darkness and despair for not knowing what comes next. In many cases it is equal parts light and shadow. That’s why I can still say that life right now is very, very good. Without feeling like I’m whitewashing reality or trying to coach myself up in public. If my 10-year journey into the creative — the capital-C creative, that is the creative Source, the Divine Feminine, the creative mother and provider of our world — has taught me anything it’s that in the eyes of the universe, change is neither good nor bad; it’s neither positive nor evil. Change just is. And that’s not to suggest that change can’t be tragic or unjust or without its victims; its mourning; its existential crises. I acknowledge all that. And in addition I want to suggest this for every one part destructive changes also at its essence, one part creative.
[00:05:26] There is generative energy in every breaking; sparks of life are born in hand with every extinguishing flame; potential is reared at the altar of the no longer possible. For every one part destructive change is also one part creative. That’s why any honest dream contains within it equal parts anticipation and terror. It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a family or starting to write your first book. Freedom and uncertainty are not opposites. They are one in the same. Every possibility before us is just as likely to work out better than expected as it is likely to take us in a completely unknown or unwanted direction. This is the nature of that cosmic equation: the unbiased creative force by which all things in our lives and in our world change.
[00:06:20] For every desire, a sacrifice; for every loss, a renewed hope. Me despite my sadness and healing, I can take solace in the fact that being suddenly soaking wet with change, so to speak, has renewed my urgency to write to you; to check into your world; to offer some thoughts that may be worthy of your consideration. And despite my wanting to hole up in high for the rest of winter, I know that in this heightened state of feeling and sensing that only heartache can bring, how wasteful it would be if I resigned myself to just staying quiet and not trying to spin some light with it, instead.
[00:06:59] We ourselves are creative at our core. We are cells and stories and stanzas constantly rewriting themselves. It’s happening whether or not we’re talking about it. It’s happening whether or not we share it out loud. Perhaps we shouldn’t require a “suddenly here a wave of change” to drench us in order to remember that. And yet if and when one such wave does hit, let this be some small encouragement to make something new and good and loving out of the breaking.
[00:07:32] Sometimes you see the change coming, and it takes you by surprise, anyway. Remember to find the creative within it. Find in the force by which all things are reclaimed in this life the same force by which everything comes to be. Like muscle under stress that breaks to grow; like “deadened” trees of winter, merely sleeping, merely biding their time to wake and flourish once more, come spring.
[00:08:01] Find the light within the darkness not despite it. Find the canvas, the song, the poem, that can only be born in negative space — the empty potential where one has yet to reside.
[00:08:17] Yours and change in growth,
[00:08:20] — Dave.
[00:08:30] OK. That’s all for this week’s episode. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this first installment of Written, Spoken, please let me know by taking a second to leave us a five-star rating and a brief review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to help other listeners find our show. In an age full of so much noise and so many distractions, really, sharing shows like ours with your family, with your friends, with your local communities, that really goes a long way to help content makers like me create meaningful stories and powerful listening experiences that are entertaining but also worthy of consideration. So really thank you for keeping us in mind.
[00:09:11] Next week, we will have an all-new episode that picks up a little bit with this narrative left off. And if you’ve ever had a burst of creative enthusiasm to start a new creative practice or to try a new idea and you’ve had shortly thereafter that idea come crashing down before your eyes, I get it. And this next episode will probably strike a chord with you.
[00:09:33] So until next time keep using your voice and sharing your story. Remember your story is your own to share. I’m Dave Ursillo and this is Written, Spoken.