Saturday, August 20, 2011

Echoes and Silence

Time is unrelenting. It moves in but one direction. And even though moments arise when it feels subjectively to us as if it is moving more slowly or more quickly than usual, it is not of course. It moves with precision. It never wavers. You can indeed set your watch by it.

Conversely, Life is imbued with an elasticity that Time lacks. It is almost as if Time is but an ingredient of Life but not vice versa. You need something more. Water perhaps? Flavoring? Something. That much is for certain. Life's elasticity comes from us not knowing just how much Time went into the recipe of our Life. We do not know how much of it was baked into us. Therefore we know not when it shall run out. Once it does, it does.

We probably are better off not knowing. Think about it. Do you see a lot of smiling, whistling terminally ill people (or for that matter inmates on Death Row who have already been given an execution date) walking around? Of course not. As an abstract notion we think we would like to know when a day is "THE" day. In reality we of course do not.

And maybe it is because Life is of uncertain duration that its course does not always follow a precise path of travel. You know what you know and what you want to do - at least some of the time. And you know where you want to live and how you want to spend it - until something comes along that makes you rethink what you have thought.

Apropos of nothing, every week in Peter King writes his Monday Morning Quarterback column, which includes a section entitled "Ten Things I Think I Think". As a general rule, his list is comprised of things related to the NFL - although not always. Even though the list of his "Ten Things" tends to be concentrated on one subject, the list is an idea that translates itself readily into anyone's life. Each of us assuredly has a list of things that we think we think. And much like Mr. King's, it is a fluid, ever-changing list. The list is Life? That might be overstating the point, but then again perhaps not.

One thing that I think I think is that "Home" is not a place at all. It is a state of mind. It is a place where security meets contentment. A place where irrespective of what else you may have or may not have, you have peace.

With apologies to Mr. King, that is one thing that I think I think that I have thought for as long as I can remember. As a boy, I used to smile somewhat dismissively at Mom's mantra, "Everything happens for a reason." By the time I had graduated high school, it had become her "go to" phrase.

I still smile when I think of it. Although I stopped dismissing it years ago. Over time, it is a Life lesson my mother taught to me that I hope I have passed on to my two kids. Especially now that they are no longer kids. They now are adults whose hard work and good fortune has presented them with the gift that is both the greatest to receive and the easiest to squander: an opportunity.

An opportunity to build a Life and to build a Home even if that opportunity has presented itself in a form that was unexpected, in a place that was unplanned and at a Time when they did not even know to set a place for it at their table. Opportunity always knocks. You just have to know enough to open the door. It is easy to do as long as you are Home.

Echoes and silence
Patience and grace
All of these moments
I'll never replace
No fear of my heart
Absence of faith

All I want is to be home


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