An epiphany out of crisis
I just had another mid-life crisis, an epiphany or sorts. Then again, maybe crises are epiphanies, all very sudden, which make them profound and memorable, especially when tragedy rushes in and claims lives, against anything we have ever considered. Once in my life almost five years ago, a plane crash claimed the lives of 12 of my closest relatives, in an instant, which really is all it takes for anything significant to happen, even the most remarkable insight.
It happens everyday, in the mundane little things that become so routine to us, we don’t even think about it until faced with the complete realization that things could have been different, that things can happen differently and that anything can happen at any time. Then, it hits us hard and where it hurts the most, especially when it happens to those meshed into the cellular fabric of our lives, the most personal and identifiable parts of ourselves, and then, shockingly, they are just not there anymore. It is terrifying, agonizing, disorienting, and surreal in the mortality of it all.
The loss is in this promise, the promise of what could have been. We don’t really think about it quite this way until it strikes close to home, until the onslaught of loss takes away our faith in most everything. But then, as time moves us forward and we measure our lives, we see that we must value what is truly important to us, the memories, and the occurrences that have formed us into our present state, even though it didn’t happen the way we thought it would or turn out the way we wanted.
It is times like these that we need the essential decency of one another and the reassurance that we are living our lives in the best way. In the simplest terms we are reduced to what means something to us, to how we make sense of ourselves and to the integrity of what we do everyday.
If we can accept and wrap our minds around the irrefutable and largely ignored fact that some day just like this one will be our last, that time as we know it will end, then the understanding is there however we choose to see it, and the losses in our lives become the transitions instead of the disadvantages. The crises, although not wholly averted, become the turning points, the catalysts of hope and the clarity of our beliefs and what we stand for and strive to accomplish now.
Fond remembrance is more than mere familiarity or human nature. It is much bigger and better than any loss or personal crisis, and if given the chance, it can take you there, too.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.