Glimpses, Portraits, Impressions ...
The years leave shadows behind as they pass.
They can mask as much as they reveal.
Only by probing into what remains hidden by these shadows can we really begin to explore the meanings of our lives.
Having to live my life without Ben has awakened my natural predisposition to explore the largely hidden interstices of life. Personal tragic loss enhances our curiosity to probe the intra-folds of existentialism.
The challenge before us is to climb out of the well into which loss has thrown us. Grasping hold of the opportunity is within everyone's reach unless we surrender to any number of temptatious escapes that lure us with their deceptively false promises.
If we numb ourselves with compulsive eating, alcohol or melancholia, we will miss the restorative opportunities to live life on a higher plane which paradoxically ... loss offers us.
The higher we climb toward the antennae of a skyscraper, we can see farther and more clearly. The haze has been lifted.
The common ground on which our lives stand is fairly broad. Many if not most readers will smile approvingly if I mention the plastic covers on our grandmothers’ sofas to which our legs stuck when we were kids; a time when the sofa, I suppose, was valued more for its pristine, almost ritual cleanliness than its utility.
The stories I tell in this book are about impressions-those long lasting or everlasting feelings we retain of those special others, each one uniquely yours not unlike your fingerprints.
Do you ever wonder about our molochim, our angels, who enter our lives when they do?
Although their presence may be fleeting as sometimes happens, the impact they have upon our lives can be and often is forever.
"I wonder why a Mr. Gallo, my eighth grade civics teacher, but not Mr. … uh, well, can’t recall his name, but I think he taught English or something like that?"
There is no one satisfactory answer. One can ascribe it to random forces, coincidence or happenstance. Call it whatever name you wish.
Or it just may be that we do have molochim in our lives.
I believe we do.
The Aibishter sends them to help us along life's path at certain points in time.
Think about that. You have your own ...
Their job is to teach us life lessons by the power of example. They transmit essential values. Think of it in terms of a relay race.
It is a brief but intense competition for which the key to victory is the efficiency with which one runner passes off the baton to his teammate.
Of course, speed is essential, but let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that the running speed of each team is approximately the same. The variable becomes the flawlessness of the relay itself.
So it is with our molochim.
Everyone has them in his life. Like the relay team, our molochim can also be compared to the construction trades that create a building.
The work of each is a prerequisite for the next to be able to do his job.
Think back to the most influential people in your life-those who shaped your character, your ethics, your sense of morality, right from wrong, what did these "sculptors": whether a parent, teacher, spouse, clergyman or friend, have in common that made such a formative impact on you?
The answer is simple: each gave more than he took; each added to, rather than detracted from, the construction of self.
We interact with innumerable people throughout our lives, but only a handful of them leaves an impression that not only does not fade with time but assumes an ever greater importance as the years pass.
What we remember about them and retain for ourselves needn’t have been anything grandiose.
Perhaps it is nothing more than a favored figure of speech you've adopted, a certain mannerism performed habitually or something as simple as a smile and a welcoming manner for whomever we encounter during the course of our daily lives.
Alan D. Busch