We’ve made it half way through a month of daily story-tellings. Yay!
If you’ve followed MappingTheEdge for any decent period of time, you’re aware that I rarely know in advance what the end product will look like. That goes for anything I create, written or visual (as if there’s a difference).
I tend to discovery-create. When I know exactly what the final product is in advance of making it, I tend to lose interest. Usually, I know in abstract terms what is going on in my head, but sometimes, I write stuff that has beginnings, middles and endings that I don’t fully understand.
Today’s story is one of those.
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The History of My New Life
Let me explain. “We see ourselves as if peering into a tenebrous mirror,” the preacher said. “But someday, some bright morning, we will see something new.”
Only he didn’t say, “something new”. He said the name of the new thing we would see. I didn’t hear him because I was stuck on, “tenebrous”. I had never heard the word before.
I pulled out my smart phone in the middle of the service and searched for a definition, all the while trying to hide the device from view. I made sure it was on silent, and tried to pay attention to the rest of the sermon as much as possible. Still, I missed the conclusion of the sermon, and a few things that led to it.
Tenebrous: adjective; dark, shadowy or obscure; like my old life. It’s interesting how one small decision can change the course of a person’s life. One “yes” instead of “no,” one hesitation to cross the road, or to change a flight, or to stay home that day, or to drive in a different direction.
If the preacher had chosen a simple word, such as like dark, shadowy or obscure, I would have immediately known what he meant. I would not have felt the need to search on my own for confirmation of an answer. I would have heard the key parts, and maybe even listened.
Maybe if I had shown a little patience, I would have heard him define it later. Maybe if I had studied more in school, paid more attention, I would have known the meaning of tenebrous. I would have been more prepared to receive the message. I would not have missed whatever I would see, or would have seen, on that bright morning. Something would have become less abstract, more concrete.
Then where would I be? Not here on the sidelines. I would have been a participant in the stream and not an observer from the bank. Instead, I’m stuck wandering in a place Homer called the Asphodel Meadows. That’s where I spend most of my after-time.
The Asphodel Meadows is from ancient Greek mythology. It is a place defined as utter neutrality, where an individual’s identity must be lost before entering, reserved for those who have little or no influence in life, and whose deaths leave no lasting impact. It is for those of us who have wasted our allotted time on this earth.
I tell you this so that you will not feel the need to look it up, at least not while I’m speaking. I detest such distractions.
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