That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
Eve still marveled on a daily basis at the speed with which her own life had changed. A year ago, she'd been lost and flailing, and now she was found. She wanted to call it a miracle, but it was simpler than that, and a lot more ordinary; she'd met a kind and decent man who loved her.
One of the scariest things in the world, is that other people can make life-changing decisions for you.
And then I got to thinking about how, if someone met me for the first time now, they would need to know about Uncle Ed and my parents in order to understand me. Sometimes it feels as though I’m defined by all the people I’ve lost , like one of those negative-space pictures, where what’s not there is just as important as what is.
There is a club in this world that you do not join knowingly.One day you are just a member.It is “The life changing events club.”The fee to join the club is hurt beyond belief, payable in full, up front for a lifetime membership.The benefit of the club is a new found perspective on life, and a deep understanding that you may not be happy about your current situation, but you can be happy in your current situation.The only rule to the club is that you cannot tell anyone that you are a member.The club does not provide a directory of its members, but when you look into a member’s eye, you can tell that they too are part of the club. Members are allowed to exchange that brief eye contact that says: “I didn’t know.”Being a member of this club is the last thing that anyone initially wants in their life.Being a member of this club is the best thing that ever happens to a person in their life, and there is not a person in the club that would ever give up their membership.If you really look and know what you are looking for you can spot the clubs members; they are the ones that provide a random act of kindness and do something for someone who can never repay them for what they have done. They are the people spreading joy and optimism and lifting people’s spirits even when their own heart has been broken.I have paid my dues; my lifetime membership arrived today, not by mail, but by a deep inner feeling that I cannot describe.It is the best club that I never wanted to be part of. But I am glad that I am a member.
And so there must be in life something like a catastrophic turning point, when the world as we know it ceases to exist. A moment that transforms us into a different person from one heartbeat to the next. The moment when a lover confesses that there's someone else and that he's leaving. Or the day we bury a father or mother or best friend. Or the moment when the doctor informs us of a malignant brain tumor. Or are such moments merely the dramatic conclusions of lengthier processes, conclusions we could have foreseen if we had only read the portents rather than disregarding them?And if these turning points are real, are we aware of them as they happen, or do we recognize the discontinuity only much later, in hindsight?