Sunday, October 20, 2013

What In Your Life Made the Earth Move For You?


What comes to mind if you are asked the question, “What in your life made the Earth move for you?”  The phrase ‘make the earth move’ often refers to great sex, but this question and this post refer to something much broader than that.

I stumbled on an HBO special this morning called “Bruce Weber: A YoungArts Masterclass.”  Basically it showcases how fashion photographer Bruce Weber mentors six young students in the art of photography.  His basic assignment is for each of them to create a visual representation of an important milestone in their life, something that was so powerful that it ‘made the earth move’ for them.  The results varied from photo collections and collages to videos.  One showed a student’s transformation from girl to woman, another showed the impact of an orphanage that student lived in at one time, another explored the topic of love.

As I watched this incredible program I also began to think of what my own answer is … what in my life made the Earth move?  You should try this.  Try thinking about it and try doing their assignment.

I have a few.  Following the usual vernacular of ‘earth move’ I can say my first sex was one of those moments, not for the reason usually associated with that phrase.  Mine was powerful in how incredibly awkward and unsatisfying it was.  The blind leading the blind.  I’ll let you figure out the rest.  Fortunately I recovered nicely.

Three different scenes during my year in the Army were earth-moving; more earth-shattering, actually.  My first day, when reality set in, a day on the firing range when I actually prayed, asking for a sign relating to my thoughts of trying to get out of the Army (and I got that sign) and my last day.

The earth moved the day my furniture moved from my house in Dallas, beginning its journey to my new life in Baltimore.  Almost thirty years later I can still remember standing in my empty living room crying, sobbing, as the full weight of an entire life change hit me.

Another earth moving day also involved crying.  At the end of my Dad’s funeral, moments after they slid his coffin into the ‘drawer’ at the mausoleum, I was pushing my Mom in her wheelchair down the hall on the way back to the car when I broke out sobbing, loud sobbing echoing in those marble hallways.  Dad’s death was expected and almost predictable and I calmly went through all the other activities that week, being strong for my Mother and sister, being the logical man my Dad was when helping to make all the decisions relating to the funeral.  The reality exploded within me as I walked down that hall.  Earth-moving.

One more moment stands out … seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.  That was more a series of moments … first glimpse of the North Rim in brilliant late-afternoon sun, photographing a sunset there a few hours later, photographing a moon rise moments after the sunset, seeing the South Rim for the first time two days later and watching a sunrise from a trail 30 minutes down into the canyon.  Those indescribable sights made the Earth move for me.

No matter how ‘normal’ or boring our lives might be, we each experience life-changing moments.  Love, death, disasters, school, leaving home, travel moments, religious events, concerts, job changes, performing on stage, assisting with a birth; the list is as unique as each of us is.

So what made the earth move for you?

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Here is a 2-minute montage of the program:




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