I arrived at Khazana today to find that Anju had written a new quote on our office blackboard. In blue and white cursive, “Destiny is not a fixed thing- it is something that you create.” No author, no context, just a message upon which to meditate.
Before I started working at Khazana, I lived in Northfield, studying philosophy and cognitive science at Carleton College. It won’t come as a surprise then, that I’ve had my fair share of late-night conversations about the nature of destiny and about one’s own power to control the events that transpire in their lifetime. Given my academic history, Anju’s quote struck me in a different way than I expected it to. Normally, I would have read it, shrugged, and perhaps rolled my eyes. “Where are all of the definitions that tell me what these words refer to?” I would’ve wondered. What is this quote-unquote ‘destiny,’ and in what sense does one ‘create’ it?
However, today, when I considered the nebulous message, I felt more open. I breathed. I remembered that the definitions I studied in school had never given me the satisfied sense of conclusion they seemed so poised to give. In fact, in a way that academic and armchair philosophers alike are well-acquainted with, the supposed answers raised further questions about the questions they had attempted to answer.
Free will, in the sense that an individual may choose to do whatever they please, may not exist. The preconditions of our existence may have gathered such momentum from history, that the forces they exert on our meek human bodies are too strong for our minds, our wills, to resist. On the other hand, perhaps the power independent minds is just what has given history its great force, and what gives the present the force to be what it wills, regardless of what has predated it.
Okay, so why all of the wool-gathering? The fabric of time seems hardly related to the daily goings on of a Midwestern textile gallery, the usual subject matter of this blog. Quietly, Khazana has been growing, setting intentions for its future actions, and changing itself. You, faithful reader, will see these changes in Khazana’s increased involvement with its community, and in its staff. I will be leaving soon. I am very proud to announce that I will be joining NPR’s podcast, On Being, as a summer intern. In my absence, new spirits will conspire to decide Khazana’s destiny. Khazana has certainly influenced my future. The opportunity to work for a female-operated small business in the arts has educated me beyond my current understanding. In the chaos of the United States’ recent political and social turn, Khazana has given me a home, and a sense of family.
Of this I am certain: Khazana is in the process of actively creating its destiny. With the best intentions, it will expand its reach into the lives of more artists, aesthetes, organizers, and thinkers. And if its past has any power on its destiny, Khazana will continue to foster a love for thoughtful culture and beauty in a rapidly changing world.