About 25 years ago, in a mist of “enlightened inspiration”, I wrote a poem which I entitled, “Retrospective Mirages”. I always thought it was pretty good, albeit, perhaps, too personal for others to feel its touch as I did. It was about the illusions of looking backward into our lives and how, often, we must drag these illusions, like slipping anchors, through our lives.
There are “main events” that shape who we are, but we must not be trapped into allowing them to define who we are. Sometimes, to me, it almost seems right and comfortable to do so - even a matter of pride; but there indeed is the quality of a mirage about this whole retrospective.
Probably the most influential (shaping) events of my life are the years of my education, the time I spent working overseas, marriage, fatherhood, the impact of my parents’ lives upon me, and the years of writing these letters. Most of them are delicious, positive memories; and for this blessing, I am truly grateful, for they didn’t have to be so. To recollect them as memories (mirages) is not bad, but to let them define me is a retrospective mirage - for I am not yet defined! Each was as a stepping stone. Each occurred singly and purposefully leading to something else. This “something else”, when met, became another stepping stone, and the former one a retrospective mirage whose breath in one’s life grows stale. Thus, the shaping events I’ve mentioned here, while fond to me, grow stale when I halt and dwell on them as more than steps. Yet, there is something that pervades this forgetful climb - something constantly fresh and unforgettable that is less a mirage than those retrospective events - it is You! There is no sense in any of this without You. All, with You, is transcended!