After a lot of thinking and a lot of encouragement from a few friends and family, I’ve decided to write a mini blog series, entitled “The Dash.”
This blog post is PART ONE of “The Dash” blog series. This is the INTRODUCTION to what is coming. I am excited for this! I really want to share what is on my heart with you. I hope that you will join me and follow along during this series.
Each Sunday, a new “chapter” will be published on the blog. Please feel free to share and comment your thoughts and opinions in the coming weeks as I dive into “The Dash.”
I yearn to interact with you. To get to know you. To get to talk with you. Let this be the beginning of a conversation between you and me.
Join the conversation on Twitter, as well, using the hashtag: #thedashblogseries
I look out into the field. My body shakes with emotion. I close my eyes, hard, and hope that this is all a terrible nightmare. I open them, but I’m still standing here, facing this field.
Tombstones peak between the grass blades. The cold granite conflicts with the perky green of the landscape. Something so happy like green grass does not deserve to be associated with heavy rock.
I don’t like being here. I want to leave. This is not a place where you want to be, yet here I am. I scan the field and quickly read a few of the stones’ headings.
Etched in the rock are dates of people past. The markings of when they entered earth and when they left it.
A whole life summed up in just a few numbers and letters. I find myself staring at it. These dates and letters through my eyes, eyes that threaten to spill over tears, captivate me.
What separates the two dates is a dash. A hieroglyphic of the English language. A straight, horizontal line. A mere punctuation. Zero degrees curvature without a hint of an incline or decline.
The line that separates the two dates is easy to miss. Easy to ignore. Easy to skip right past. The focus is on the bookends. The dates, balanced, sit on either side of the dash.
But that dash, that dash represents so much. Every minute of every day you are has to be summarized by two inches of horizontal geometry. The day you entered is the beginning of that dash and the date you left, it is the tangible end to it. That Dash is what made me stop and stare. It doesn’t seem right for it to be there, so tiny and easy to miss. It should be bigger. More evident.
A whole life is summed up in two dates. Decades of life, of breath, of oxygen inhaled, of carbon dioxide exhaled. Seconds… millions of them, the heart beating, eyes blinking, memories forming. It’s not captured. The dash represents everything. It’s heavy with meaning, yet it stays straight. No ups, no downs, no adjectives to help describe what that dash represents.
It just sits there between the numbers and letters. It makes me wonder. It makes me think. It gives me an idea.
You skip right past it and read what’s on the outsides.
Just the date you entered, fists clenched.
And the date you left, palms surrendered.