Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Here We Meet Upon this Road

January 11th, 2018 by G.

One of the missionaries in our ward said she really likes a Mormon group called the Nashville Tribute Band. Her favorite song was one called “Apostles“:

I could criticize the song, but it does have the strange power of cheap music.  And the song has a heck of a situation: a last meeting of the New Testament Apostles before they go out across the world never to see each other again.

It got me thinking about the family reunion we had this summer and the pile of relatives that showed up at my folks’ place this Christmas.  Some of my brothers and sisters I see pretty frequently.  They live out here in the Big Empty or on its fringes.  Some of them I see once a year, either at Christmas or Thanksgiving, whichever one we picked.  But I’m getting older now, which means I’ll see them again maybe 20-30 times.  Who knows.  Probably more than that, but all the same, the number of times I’ll see them are about the number of construction paper links on a kid’s Advent chain, before one of us goes out into the great unknown. And then there are my siblings who live far back east or else abroad.  I see them about once every 5 years.  Can I count on my fingers the number of times I’ll see them before I go?  Probably.

Death is the great departure.  But there are others–last farewells to places you’ve lived, situations you’ve been in, the last times you’ll see a friend or a one of your beloved family.  Every moment that passes is a death.  You will never see it again.

 

Comments (6)
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January 11th, 2018 07:11:54
6 comments

Bruce Charlton
January 11, 2018

Yikes! – that turn took me by surprise. It’s quite true, and this business of counting does force itself on our attention with advancing years.

I suppose I first was struck by it at the end of the movie, Sheltering Sky (I was aged about 32, I guess – BTW I wouldn’t recommend the movie) when the author of the book makes an appearance and says something of the kind, about the moon?

I also think each year about how many more springs, or autumns I will see – certainly a lot fewer than I have already seen. So each is more special and distinctive (and indeed each IS distinctive, as well as stereotypical).

But the thing is for me not to feel despair over this, nor to dread the sands of time running away grain by grain… but to take the attitude that you advocate here; that every time *anything* happens is the last time.

For RW Emerson, this was a corrosive thought (see his poem Days – https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45873/days-56d22594f3322) because the only record of days that RWE acknowledged was human memory, which fades immediately and dies with the brain.

But if we know that nothing real is forgotten, and recorded eternally somehow, then everything that is worthwhile is permanent – well, *then* everything worthy of notice takes-on a very different complexion.


Andrew
January 11, 2018

I found it unbearably tragic that “those special moments” seemed so fleeting and instantly lost. This was enhanced by the idea that the full significance, importance, and meaning may not have been shared with others – even the loved one a part of it and forever lost and unexpressed. I think the most easily relatable example is watching our children growing up.

My thought is that this is not really so though, and must not be so, but just our temporal experience.

God *is* the Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. God is Eternal. He knows all things so perfectly in eternity that they are truly manifest and exist in eternity.

So all those good things, all those even seemingly mundane and silly things, like children playing, and singing songs, and hugging are truly eternal as God is – truly existing in the eternity of eternities – world without end – is now and ever shall be.

The flip side of this is each of those good moments are true manifestations of God in the present, a part of His real presence really existing with us at that very moment. Our time-boundness allows us to continue making God manifest in ways unique to us and our loved ones.

So when we fill our lives with the good we are filling our lives with the things that are true, moments that will eternally be really present in God and Heaven.


E.C.
January 11, 2018

Creation comes with a price:
Dissolution dogs its trail of glory.
Beauty also has its weight:
The loveliest things are most ephemeral.
Strength requires much of itself, and yet
A constant strain towards perfection
Ends in weakness ere life’s course is run.
Why, then, do we create?
Why do we, poor mortals, love beauty,
Revere strength?
For all these pass away
Under time’s great and unrelenting passage.
Yet we do not believe in endings
If we did, despair would crush us
And turn our deepest hopes to endless dread
So hope we must,
For that high perfect love
Which can create, and beautify, and strengthen
For all eternity to come.


G.
January 12, 2018

@BC, @Andrew, @E.C.

Excellent and lyrical comments. What a gem it is to have friends like y’all.


Anderw
January 12, 2018

@E.C. – Very nice!


Marilyn
January 13, 2018

I think about this all the time, and the only thing that tempers that melancholy is the hope that nothing good is ever lost. But I had never thought of the flip side Andrew mentioned: “The flip side of this is each of those good moments are true manifestations of God in the present.”

I love that! And will try to see it this way when I’m feeling sad at a particular ending or parting. Thank you!

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