February 13, 2019
and why I think they don’t exist.
More than half a century ago, a man spoke a few words in frustration that changed the course of your life. Indirectly. You see, they became the foundation of my self image and the primary motivation behind everything I have done since that day. They are why I write or don’t write. They are why I do or don’t do. They are why I stay or why I go. At least they were.
I have decided those words no longer define me. They are not my defining moment. There is no single defining moment. Every choice I made since that moment has been reinforcing or fighting that definition. But if I remove the definition, if I rewrite it, if I simple deny it any power what I am left with is a history of choices I made in the moment, each one a redefining moment. Each one writing a new foundation, a new definition, a refining moment. A new glory…
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. “
One of the great things about social media is that it gives us the illusion of connection to people we care about. I say illusion because it is a greatly flawed process. We share only what we feel safe or confident sharing. We are our own spin master, our own PR firm and the curator of non-sense when all else is too risky.
It takes face to face life to be truly open faced and opened hearted with each other. It takes time and vulnerability. It takes effort. It takes commitment. It takes those moments of significance and heft. It takes late night talks and pots of coffee or pints of beer. A glass of wine and a loaf of bread…communion….
And for all these reasons, I don’t believe moments are defining. I believe they are witnesses, touchstones of the heart and mind, crossroads of a thousand travelers on a million paths, treasures to be shared and lessons to be applied. But we are not defined by them anymore than we are totally captured in a photograph or a few words on a screen.
I am no more the little girl from the first paragraph than I am from the woman writing this paragraph. By the time you read this I will have already grown and changed. And so will you. Life has moved on and you are only getting a glimpse of where my head and heart were. Thank you for seeing where I was.