On any given day in the natural world... things are changing.
I can watch a rabbit hop across my path, grass be blown by the wind. Over the course of a day, see a flower bloom. Over the course of weeks, plants grow. Over the course of months fruits flower, produce, drop. Over the course of years, succession occurs, populations dynamically ebb and flow. Trees become large and stately. Windfalls rot and disappear. Over the course of centuries, species invade, choke others out, erosion shapes the land. On a astronomical time frame, stars are born, burn out and die. Yet... if lay before our eyes as time lapse footage... we could see the change occurring as motion. We are used to understanding change as measured between phenomena. I am an inch taller than last year when marked against the wall in Grandpa's garage. Chestnut trees are gone, whereas 500 years ago they were dominant in the American forest. If Betelgeuse goes supernova in our lifetime, it'll be one of the most phenomenal astronomical events in recorded history. In this very moment, however, if I were to go outside and take a snapshot, I have not captured a still moment in time, I have taken a frame... a moment when each of those natural time lapse films crosses.... or a cross section of all playing side-by side. The rabbit caught mid-jump is no more or less in a state of motion than the grass over which it jumps... even though it's change relative to the march of time may be quicker. I am pausing all change simultaneously in that image. Photos are odd things.
Really... our lives are every bit the same vibrant enigmas. In this moment, I am not an identity as much as a cross section of a thousand processes. My age, position, emotional climate, faith, knowledge, attitudes, skin color, wardrobe, family interactions, skills, pets, posessions, etc, etc, are continually changing around and through me. And as they effect me, they (especially the human element) is changing in the same way that I am. So... no wonder our identities are such difficult things to grasp in hand. The only lasting stability our identities may have is from the love of One outside the films... the filmmaker if you will... who alone knows every frame because we were His idea in the first place. And yet, somehow He knew the beauty of fragility... the definitive need for a story to have both a "once upon a time" and a "the end."
It's a wonderfully fascinating thing to consider... and gives breathtaking pause... when we realize that each of our glowing, pulsating, flowing, experiencing, changing existances are allowed to touch, for only a moment, another of similar nature. Then, when all that exorbitant complexity bound in each one is tied to a thousand or more inputs and outputs of similar complexity... it forms a net that incorporates every human soul on the face of the planet in some degree, and makes knowing even a single one of us in terms of the rest... impossible... ludicrous... and the most captivatingly beautiful endeavor we have been given.
So, to those of you who have seen many snapshots of my life, and have allowed me the privelege of sharing some of yours... no words can express. You have made my life beautiful and rich. I may not pick up new snaphots of you for a time... to the degree that we did while together... but let's not lay them aside... they do not become obsolete. We do not become different creatures over time... we just play different parts of the same film. No one says to only watch the end of a movie. Nor do old memories lose their value or definition in time. Thanks for knowing me, and letting me know you. I love you all very much.