There’s a trick to the “graceful exit.”It begins with the vision to recognize
when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over—
and let it go.
It means leaving what’s over
without denying its validity
or its past importance to our lives.
Including one’s home.
Still downsizing …
If only I had the que sera sera serenity of the horseshoe crab—which literally saunters out of its own skin. Leaves home behind.
How the cuts are made
For years, inside the dark
recording booth, alone,
in the electric halo
of an adjustable lamp,
I narrated audiobooks.
Now I survey my archive—towers of babble—60-some books recorded on tape. Cassette tapes, in our digitized age, seem irrelevant.
When the studio switched to CDs, many audiobooks were not updated.
I may own the sole remaining copies.
I didn’t always like the stories, but I gave them my all—honest, empathic, vestigial work, as in: “forming a very small remnant of something once greater.”
Words arise, like posterity. Legacy.
I set aside a dozen classics for our grandkids.
Might Goodwill welcome the rest?
I pack 50-some titles, deliver them before I can change my mind. Employees may toss them, but I won’t be a witness.
More remain. I visit our hulking, rented dumpster, imagine chucking them.
Second thoughts clamor. I’ll decide tomorrow.
Dreamer, on the other hand …
For decades, Dreamer shot slide film. Last week he tossed unused slide carousels. Second thoughts prompted retrieval. Currently curating thousands of slides, he’ll convert them to digital files.
He’s retrofitting: “bringing a proven model up to date.”
Second thoughts allow fresh discernment.
I scan my waiting titles. I could do likewise …
Needless can mean obsolete. Redundant. Superfluous.
Seems I never quite believed my achievements would vanish.
Yet into each absence, the One who loves us best still speaks.
And I love a good story …
… especially one from an ever-relevant Book, narrating tales of a remnant people …
and other wonders, like horseshoe crabs and second thoughts and traveling light.
The One who invites me to be need-less delights to meet my needs.
Those remaining tapes?
I feed the dumpster. Offer up ego. Yet again. There are endless ways to voice “Once upon a time.”
[For now, making the graceful exit] …
involves a sense of future,
a belief that every exit line
is an entry, that we are
moving up, rather than out.
How has a grace-full exit moved you toward an uncommon entrance?
For prayer: Dreamer sees the neurologist next week.