(stained glass created by Sharon Ruxton, based on a sketch by M. Kelly)
Today we are not the people we were yesterday. Even if we live as hermits - a choice not widely available - natural forces surround us. Change on a grand or barely discernable level is continuous and inescapable.
The human experience has a lot in common with attending a major league baseball game, sitting in the bleachers past third base, hands occupied with a hot dog and soda, and seeing that mad foul ball coming right at you. To this day, I have some uber-sized knuckles from finger sprains acquired in right field at Longfellow Elementary. You will not hear me rejoicing as a maiming projectile hurtles toward me.
Among the elements working around the clock is gravity, source of physical changes which over time resemble - at least to my eyes - the melting of a Nazi face in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. We are held to this planet by invisible power and I swear some days the pull is stronger than others. Everything entering our sphere has an effect - wise or witless, kind or critical, even something in perfect balance leaves a trace and, whether added to or subtracted from, we become variants of our previous selves.
As we evolve or morph or transform, our thoughts are not static. The good news is we are free to change our minds; the less good news is that we may be seen as flighty or worse, conflicted. I will survive being misunderstood, as will you.
I find life to be a process and as any process, it has stages. There will be moments - or days, months - when the dough is rising, other periods when it gets punched back down, then, if we were actual loaves, the eventual baking...but that is not for us. We will go on being dough. At least in this incarnation, we are works-in-progress, not intended to become finished products.
Our process is enhanced by the souls with whom we choose to make this journey. Though I would keep writing if no one else ever read these words, I am lifted by comments that tell me I have come near the mark. I have the luxury of time during the day to converse or correspond with others and exchange ideas. There are places where I can turn if the waters are troubled and I turn to them as well when tidings are glad. We come, I know, to a state of reliance upon this core of support. Few of us will likely be in this exact configuration indefinitely; it is comforting to assume that people who matter will not waiver or drift, yet they do.
On Friday my cousin Sharon - Sheri - died. Her kindness, encouragement, generosity, unconditional love and unambiguous passion concerning all things, whether for or against, enriched our lives and, I assume, the world at large for such energy expands in a widening circle. We and our lives were different Thursday night than they are today. I will not say that she is gone, for the power and expanse of her nature are too great to cease. That I don't expect we will speak again, finding our way through personal as well as political challenges, may simply be my own too-small expectation. I don't know where death leaves us, whether we are the departed or those who remain behind. I choose to find something eternal in strong connections. A blessing bestowed is not revoked by time or absence. It is ours to keep forever.