My name is Rod Haden, and this is Caterpillar Goo. It's an exploration of how people transform. It will be a blog and a podcast, with interviews, live storytelling, fiction, poems, and essays, focusing on stories of the circumstances in people's lives that caused changes in them. A caterpillar, before it becomes a butterfly, enters a state in which it completely breaks down before rearranging its basic components into something entirely new.
There's a Scientific American article here that describes the process. My favorite line is, "First, the caterpillar digests itself." I can relate. The first six months of my life after my wife first told me she wanted a divorce could accurately be described as me digesting myself.
So that's the idea behind the name. I think we are all caterpillar goo in one way or another, even while we are the caterpillar, or the butterfly. All of us are any or all three of those things at any given moment in our lives because change is constant. Can you think of many different instances in your life and describe who you were before that, how you were changing at that moment, and who it was that you were becoming?
The first episode is an interview with a 78-year-old woman who devoted her entire adult life to service to others, as a teacher, as a wife and mother, as a foster parent, and as a family services social worker. When she retired, she focused on the things she had always wanted to explore but had set aside for later: self-discovery and spiritual exploration. She hits her stride, only to find that the challenges of aging reach into every aspect of her life, including her nearly 50-year marriage.
It should be out soon. I'm editing the interview now, and will add music and other touches after that. I am new to every aspect of the process, so I hope you will learn with me as we go. I'm having so much fun and already learning. I'm collaborating with my love on this project, and I'm looking forward to hearing her first project. I have no doubt that her style and mine will be radically different, but that will only add depth and richness to our partnership.