The Single Moment

This week, I find a quote from Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.

Borges states, “Every destiny, however long and complicated, essentially boils down to a single moment — the moment when a man knows, once and for all, who he is.”

In a few weeks, I’ll begin to teach memoir writing again, and I’m asking myself and my students if the statement rings true. Can we remember falling upon our own identities in a single moment?

I know it sounds silly, but I remember the single moment when I looked out my front door and longed to be part of a neighborhood.   I remember calling people I didn’t really know to invite parents and their children to ride bikes and jump rope in the front yard.

In that moment, I felt a calling:  I was to devote myself to building a neighborhood.

It would mean walking to school with neighbors, Neighborhood Fitness Group, potlucks, Playdates for Dads, and Creative Women Nights.  It would mean not going anywhere but here, not leaving my street, not seeking all those things I’ve always wanted in my life that involved fame, wealth, and prestige.

It would mean putting down roots right here in Central Pennsylvania.  It would mean blogging about it.

It would mean realizing that community–real community–met a need in me I didn’t know I had.   

So my moment came in my own front yard in August of 2009. 

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Do you have a single moment?

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