At my wife's request, we rented the DVD "The Lake House" last night. It's not a great movie and I don't "highly" recommend it as it is frustrating as all get out! Maybe I need to watch it again. The premise is very stupid and yet, I find myself haunted by its message of how fragile our human "connections" are with each other and how we can become "disconnected" very easily (not just between family members and friends, but between total strangers).
But the movie got me thinking...
I know my life has been impacted by numerous strangers. I remember just a couple of years ago standing alone at Dead Horse Point in Southern Utah taking in the spectacular summer evening over Canyonlands National Park and the goosenecks of the Colorado River snaking through the red rocks a thousand feet below. Up came an earthy, fantastic looking, young, athletic European guy standing next to me. I was immediately attracted to him! For a while we didn't say anything - just drinking in the soul-renewing scenary surrounding us. He finally said something about the incredible view in broken English and I asked him where he was from - Italy - my home away from home - and we soon were chatting away together in Italian for two hours until an amazing desert sun had set!!! Come to find out we have the same profession, the same love of the deseret and nature, of hilltowns in Italy, of architecture, photography, and art, or culture and people and language. It was an experience like none other. Here we were standing in the middle of nowhere in the deserts of the Colorado Plateau and Marco happened to stand next to me and we both began sharing our lives together! There was such an incredible momentary real human connection! We have since continued our discussions together via email, and are looking to collaborate professionally.
Is this coincidence that this experience happened, this "chance meeting"?
And friendships (dare I say eternal friendships)have sprung into a life of their own through "chance meetings". Countless ones from my mission experiences. Even the meeting of my wife was such a chance meeting where we were thrown in together in a circumstance because we happened to know the same people and those people needed a group to sing together in a Sacrament Meeting. They were desperate, and perfect strangers met to sing on one Sunday morning in Provo, Utah. And love followed.
Such "chance meetings" turning into a life-changing connection makes me think just how amazing life is. But like the movie, I'm haunted by all those connections I don't make by not reaching out, by not being where I should be.
And my haunting turned last night (as I couldn't sleep) into thoughts of "what ifs" -like:
* What if I hadn't volunteered to sing that day? Would I have still met my wife?
* What if I had my self-realization early on in my post-mission days and become accepting of being gay and more open to a relationship with a dear friend who died of AIDS (see my post of May 27, 2006 "Different Eyes Seek Peace"). Could I have lived a life together with him as he wanted to live with me? Could I have helped him from taking the course of self-destruction he took? Did I purposefully "disconnect"?
* What if I had my self-realization early on and stayed in Utah, but then chose never to marry?
The "what ifs" could go on forever. I guess I shouldn't worry about the disconnections and concentrate on my connections and making them stronger.
But why did I not come to a self-realization for so long? Why this delay reaction? Is this, could this be a blessing in disguise? Or is it a curse for now having to live with other decisions and choices I've made?
Why did I connect so strongly with my friend from the mission field?
Why did I connect so miraculously with my friend at Dead Horse Point?
Why did I feel such immediate eternal bonding with my wife?
Relationships, attractions, bondings, friendships... why do they so easily disconnect sometimes and other times last forever?
Oh, the disconnections of our lives...
Please stay connected.