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Anyone missing a screw?

November 13, 2016


A couple of Sundays ago, I sat down at a table with my mom for fellowship time after church.  What greeted us was a nice fall arrangement and a screw.  “Somebody lost a screw” was her comment.  When you look up the phrase it can mean that someone is eccentric, strange or mentally deranged.  Knowing my mom, who never said a bad word about anyone, it was the giggle that it might mean someone was eccentric.

I was thinking about that.  Who or what is eccentric?  People that others have labeled “eccentric”, I find really interesting and quite wonderful to be around.  Who fits in?  Who doesn’t fit in?  I am not sure the goal should be to “fit in” as a chameleon or to lose oneself so one can belong.  I see groups that do that as being abusive to oneself and the dignity of being alive and human.  In some ways I know that I too haven’t “fit in” perfectly.  Some people have commented “they broke the mold when you were made”.  Even family will say “I really don’t know how your mind works, but I understand and enjoy it.”

I don’t think there is a “normal” anywhere.  People don’t quite fit clothes “off the rack”.  One size in one store isn’t identical to a size in the next store.  It can be close but not perfect.  My mother sewed my clothes – or I did so they would fit.  You made it fit as it should.  I also sewed for my children.  One has a long length from neck to waist.  I have to even shorted Petite pants.  One size does not fit all.

I think everyone feels at some time that they don’t fit in.  Yet if we look outside ourselves for validation, we will always be looking and feeling empty.  Somehow we need to find the strength within and build from within.  At times that takes counseling, good self-help books and good friends and family that will reflect back how we are coming off by our words and actions.  Unintentional consequences can somewhat be eliminated that way.

It can be scary to really look at oneself and see what we are truly made out of.  Using the image of a “glass half full or half empty”, think about the glass as refillable at any point.  Things in life empty us out and we need to refill them.  If the source of our refilling is also down, we need to find a way beyond ourselves for the moment but then go back to oneself.

I loved that little screw.  I focused on it rather than the arrangement.  Someone had intentionally put something pretty in the center of the table but but where did the screw come from?  Where was it going?  What was it supposed to be doing?  What functions could it serve?  Should I take it home to fit in a drawer of other screws about that size?  Should I leave it for someone to find or for someone to ponder its existence?  I chose to leave it.  I know I will probably never see the screw again.  I know I had to say goodbye to my mom this week as she died.  Yet in this time and space of this photo, I remember our laughs, I remember our conversations as if she is again sitting beside me smiling.


From → memory, Uncategorized

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