Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces…
— May Sarton
Someone somewhere once said that as we age we become like ourselves, only more so. The weathering that the years exact on our bodies, hearts and minds intensifies the essence, sometimes. Other times the weathering exacts too high a toll. Pain, loss and disorientation do not always bring out the best in us. The becoming that continues from birth until the day we die is not always pretty or dignified but it is the essence of our story. A story that is troublingly beautiful. Personally, I hope to make use of whatever time I have left to live into that essence by paying attention, noticing the beauty, the fragility, and the gift of this particular day.
As I consider what I am becoming, I find that your stories have offered me hope and inspiration. One the great gifts of ministry is the honor of witnessing how others choose to live and die. Much of this is done in private conversation at moments when you are inclined to talk with your minister.