Systems and understanding
Since a child I've always seen reality as shapes. The forces and thrusts of nature were shaped into cones and spheres and rectangles and triangles and various combinations. For me only later came the words to describe them.
It seems to me in life a cone (as in ice cream cone) is the shape that describes the path of a pursuit, a discipline, and a direction. If the spherical base is wide and broad enough and includes enough of the person's being there is a natural progression from the broad to the refined. The base of the cone covers what you have taken in and is eventually narrowed and honed into the peak aperture at the top of the cone. From there your best comes forth.
Fortunate is the person unto whom this works for. Less fortunate are the many who find their base was not wide enough and therefore their creation not complete enough. If their base did not include enough experience, learning, observation and just life, the end result at the top of your cone will be too narrow. At one point an idea might have made a lot of sense, but if it did not take into account enough of the soil from which you were formed, it might be deficient.
The cone that you are occupied with then starts to die a slow death while the rest of you cries out for more. In your narrowness part of you was neglected and now yearns for attention and inclusion. It can feel as if you are starting from scratch, seeing everything as if for the first time.
I recall an older Israeli lady neighbor who earlier in her life had some success as a minimalist type artist. Although not my favorite genre there was discipline and structure in her simple shapes. They were almost a hard edged version of Rothko if one is familiar with his work. They held together. At one point she was represented by an established New York gallery. Then, after a time, we never talked about art and she didn't seem to be doing it anymore. Instead I would find her at the pool reading a mystery novel or some popular novel by a popular author. While her talk was still forceful (she was Israeli) her thinking wandered and she seemed a little scattered and lost. When I saw her walking her face had a child like fear written across it.
I think her cone had become too small. Her precise activity had become too exclusive. The rest of her life cried out to her and she could not contain herself anymore. Her funnel, her cone had become too narrow and internally she was crying for help, any help, even help from mystery or drama novels. Their authors' writings served as food for the neglected parts of herself. Her existence became a paradox that no longer provided certainty. The truth she thought she had was not big enough. All this happened at an advanced age.
With some this is how it is. Their cones were too small, their output too narrow and what remained was unattached pieces of themselves still craving for their fulfillment. All one can do is slowly and painfully accept this state of affairs and not fight it and even leave room for sadness and joyful sadness. One is now again like a child feeling and touching their way through the world as if for the first time.