At the end of the industrial age, I stood between a chair and my office window , gazing at the Christmas shoppers fourteen stories below. I had just been asked a fairly technical question by my boss and mentor and so I was looking out the window to reflect. And I was preparing a response, or more accurately, a translation, that my boss could follow.
When, suddenly,…down there…among the crowds, I saw my grandfather. I recognized him because of his thin brimmed hat and the brown cardigan sweater barely covering his suspenders. His gate also confirmed his identity, still a bit stiff on the right side because of the stroke he had survived in 1959. And then, as she came through the glass door, I was able to make out that my mother was also with him, the key here being her silver hair and her soft plumpness covered by her raincoat, with the belt hanging unbuckled on each side. They had just left the Sibley’s department store through the Clinton Avenue doors and as they came to Main Street, together they turned in the opposite direction of my office and slowly walked out of my view. My impulse was to immediately bolt from the office, run to the stairwell and down all 14 floors to join the crowd and search for them.
I’m but a single married soul slightly aglow with a residue of all those he knew and loved. I call that the past.
But I actually live in the present, just like all of you. And I consider your graces to be the gifts of a greater spirit, shared and common within every soul.
The future? That’s where our collective dreams and schemes and goals are kept. But if we ignore the wisdom of cumulative experience, as well as the ever more forceful voice of this planet, that’s also where nightmares are taking root to ambush every one of us together. You see I’m convinced that we share a future conditional on the success of overcoming our own denials. So let’s get it on.