I think the most magical moments in life, for me, are those when the adjectives disappear and all that's left is 'being'. Let me explain what I mean by telling you how that happened this Christmas.
It was Christmas eve and Mike and Marissa and Ruby and Sadie were all over at our place. We had prepared our traditional feast so, after one or two presents were opened, we noshed and talked. It all ended when the kids decided, enough with food, enough with talk, it's time to open presents.
The girls, this year, have made a huge transition. They were equally excited to give as to receive. They were excited about the mound of gifts they had to open but that could wait. They eagerly gave gifts to Mom and Dad and to Joe and me. We opened them and marvelled, without pretence, at the thoughtfulness behind the gifts.
Then they opened theirs. Paper was flying and they were like paper tearing machines who set about the business of getting the gifts free of their wrapping. What took hours to wrap took seconds to be torn asunder. It was fun watching the whole process.
I watched all this from my chair. I have a big chair, no surprise there, that's set up on huge cement blocks to give it height. This makes getting in and out of the chair easy for me and it was our cheap adaption for what would have been an expensive purchase. It's height gave me the perfect view of all the happenings. Watching happy kids be especially happy is delightful.
When it was all done, the kids reached into their stockings, which had been set aside for the event. And they each pulled out a story. I had written a 5 page story about Ruby and Sadie. It was about a wonderful moment in time. It was something I wanted them to remember so I thought turning it into a written story would do the trick.
To my surprise, Ruby climbed up on my chair and sat beside me on the arm of the chair. She had decided she wanted to read the story aloud to the group. I remembered, instantly, a couple years earlier Ruby saying, with such sadness in her voice, that she couldn't read. Now here she was with a 5 page story in her hand, about to read it aloud.
She began. I listened as she read the words, captured by her excitement about the story and watching as the memory of the event came alive in her voice. Sadie watched Ruby read and you could almost see her memory brought to life in her eyes. For a few seconds, magical seconds, I ceased to be a man with adjectives. Fat. Gay. Tall. Disabled. Man. Cook. Writer. Consultant. Supervisor. Partner.
Surrounded by the warmth of the gathering, listening to the voice of a child reading a story, I was able to just simply be.
I am very happy to be me. I am very happy that I come with adjectives. But. It's nice when, for a few seconds, all that exists is the essence of who I am. Oh, I know my being is affected by every single thing that I am, but what I am, isn't all that I am. My Daveness is separate, in an odd way, from Dave.
I'm imagining now, after re-reading what I've written, that this will make no sense to anyone. That I've not done well in describing what happened in that moment. But I'm going to post it anyways. Because this is a story I want to read again. I want to be reminded that I need, now and then to seek times when my focus leaves the list (Fat. Gay. Tall. Disabled. Man. Cook. Writer. Consultant. Supervisor. Partner.) and moves to that part of me that's only me gets a chance to assert itself in my mind and my heart.
I hope, really hope, that each of you has moments like that. Moments when you remember that how you are described isn't the whole of who you are. Moments when you remember that being you is an indescribable experience, that there are no adjectives big enough or complex enough or inclusive enough to capture what you are when you aren't anything but you.