In the blink of an eye, or the flash of a light, things change. You don’t realize it until later, much later. The full impact of a life changing moment takes time to cement itself. To let itself be known.
That was probably true for a friend who went from walking to sitting still. From freely moving, to moving with the help of a machine. Today, he lives in two positions. Sitting down and laying down. He gets around, but not the way we do. He needs a lot of help. He was someone different than the person I know today. That changed in one day.
I wonder what happens when life changes for us this way? When we go from being free to being broken down. We all rely on others, even if we think we don’t. Life is full of connecting dots. When they are connected, life works better. When we can’t reach the next dot, we become still.
Not all change is physical. Life can turn around on you in emotional or spiritual ways. When I used to cook at the gospel mission, stories of before and afters were common. Days with family turned into days in prison. Days in prison turned into days after prison. Those days are the hardest. Trying to find a new way. Trying to remember your past while trying to forget it. The dots are there, but not everyone wants to connect with you and get you to the next one.
Everything can change in a moment’s time. Sometimes it is because of something you did. Sometimes, someone did something to you. At the migrant center where I cook on Saturdays, people are making choices. Then, others decide what is best for them, even if they are headed in a different direction. Sometimes that happens. People decide for you. They know better than you do. That’s what they think. In one day, people, or policies, can turn you around. Things happen quickly. It’s hard to see what’s in front of you until you sit down and take a breath.
I like talking to my neighbors because they are quiet, calm people. They live ordinary lives. Coffee first thing in the morning. A short walk with the dog in the park across the street. Doctors appointments, family visits, and the little ordinary things that fill up the day. Even with them, with the routine life they live, I’m sure there was a change at some point that had them end up where they are today. I don’t know…