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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Unsuspecting Magical Moments


I'm afraid that the magic may have slipped away under the dark of night in my life. It's sad, really. The fire in the belly. The skip in the step. The excitement of spirit and even the twinkle in the eye instead of a glazed over look. I'm not even completely sure how, or exactly when, the smoke and mirrors disappeared from the act. And maybe, just maybe, I wasn't completely in tune with it's departure. There's a possibility that it's middle age. Or stress. Could even be the gradual integration of a nasty case of cynicism into my life. Or the fact that I've been in my job for a long time. But today, at a completely unsuspecting moment, I was transported, uninvited, into someone else's magical moment. Childlike, almost.


I came face to face with a person on their first day at a new job. Not just any job. This was a job that I know well. Too well? And there she was, an established, professional, well-dressed woman. Perfect. A bit older than some others, perhaps. Maybe even a little more difficult for her to learn a new trade, with huge amounts of course work and studying. A real mental and emotional five-week push to get to where she was today. Proudly wearing her new uniform and desperately wanting her performance to match all that she had invested in her new life.


So, we're together, she and I. Side by side. Everything is working out beautifully in a technical, mechanical, sort of way. That's how it becomes after many years. Mechanical and mundane. We're moving faster and faster. But in one brief moment of heavy silence, both of our minds rehearsing critical mental checklists, she said out loud to me, "Wow, it just hit me that this is my moment, the one that I've been preparing for." I could feel the sense of accomplishment in her voice. And I felt a giant lump fill my throat immediately. My brown eyes became instantly heavy with tears. She was very proud of her achievement. And she should be. I was the lucky one who was privy to sharing this beautifully perfect and moving moment. With a stranger. It reminded me of a kind of magic that needs to happen more often in my life. Pride. Accomplishment.

17 comments:

Trailhead said...

Well, if you're still open to moments like that, the cynicism hasn't gotten you yet.

Dave2 said...

Somebody needs a trip to Disneyland! :-)

Mike said...

Don't you love those moments? The ones that make you stop, think, and wonder.

Steven said...

What a great observation! It seems like I live in those moments all the time. And somebody else's joy gets me all gooey and teary-eyed as well. Sometimes more than that somebody else.

Doug said...

Wow, Lewis, this resonated with me. What you describe matches how I feel. I teared up a little at her realization, because I knew how that felt once upon a time, but it's been so long since I felt it. It feels like I'm incapable of feeling it again. Something's missing. I know not what.

Cooper said...

Lewis, that was gorgeous ... to read, to absorb, to integrate. Those kinds of moments bring joy and grace to our lives, and how beautiful that you were not only able to see that moment in someone else's life but become part of it, too.

knottyboy said...

I'm a little jaded myself at times. It does seem though that creating my life's work in art I can be so critical of what I do with my hands that the finished product can be lifeless to me. Lately I don't let the background noise get to me. I keep my child's eyes on tight and experience what its like to be in the moment. I'm pretty sure that like neocon christian virginity prayers...my objectivity cherry is growing back.
Hugs, hugs,
kb

Sorted Lives said...

Many people never experience that in their jobs -- and that is sad. I am so glad you were there to witness someone elses feeling of accomplishments.

Billy said...

It is wonderful if we can see how jaded we get trought the eyes of another. Well said friend, well said indeed...

tornwordo said...

You're just on the post vacation blues. It'll pass. Nice moment to catch.

André McFarlane said...

You're a very lucky man.

RAD Homo said...

You need to go drinking this weekend I think? Road trip to seattle? We can be drinking buddys... I just went through a wicked bad mood and space-- I know how you feel-- something is missing...Wow..somethings in the air man....it can only get better and go up...I sure hope so...

Ur-spo said...

that was touching; thank you for it
hang in there; time wears us out by attrition but take heart and we will persevere.

Robert said...

Y'know Lewis, I read this thru Google Reader at work this past week, I couldn't comment at the time, and it made me so 'happy', all warm n' fuzzy inside. It's such a sweet story/obseration and you did a wonderful job of conveying the message.

Yeah, what she felt was intensely satisfying to her, but what you felt I think was something even more. Maybe it was something personal, a longing, or that you were simply proud of her and that you were able to be there with her, at that moment...

The magic is all around, still, and it's nice to be reminded. Thanks so much Lewis! Hope you're having a great weekend. xoxo

Derek said...

Wow Lewis what a beautiful post. What a wonderful thing to share!

Palm Springs Savant said...

very sweet. that was a good post.

Will said...

Lewis, as one who has a "couple" of years on you, I can assure you that this is one of the great rewards--taking the thing you love to do and that you do well and passing it on to those who are coming up behind you. This is an honorable and deeply rewarding experience.

I left Boston with one of my former design students established as the leading scenic designer in the area with the awards and reviews to back her status up. Enjoy this time in your career and welcome those who look to you for your insights and expertise.