Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chapter Stop















It's not often in life that you are aware of one chapter ending and another one beginning.

While most chapter stops are discernible only in retrospect, there are those times when the change is so momentous that it is impossible to miss the gravity of the transition.

This past weekend, my wife and I stayed in a small cabin outside of Crested Butte, Colorado. I wanted one last time to glory in the beauty of my home state before trading forested mountains for the urban jungle.

Hermiting ourselves away, we spent several days reclining on the porch, reading, hiking, talking beside the river, playing games and any other activity that fostered an attitude of contemplative relaxation. (I also spent several hours reviewing the new Apocalypse Now DVD. How apropos, I thought, as the film opened to the strains of The Doors singing, “This is the End.”)

This Friday--in mere hours, really--it truly will be the end as I bid Colorado goodbye.

Lately I've recognized "the end" in everything. Each day this week I've woken up and turned to my wife saying, “This is my last Tuesday” and so forth. This is my last movie at Kimball's art-house theater. This is my last cone of Colorado Cookies and Cream at Josh and John's ice cream parlor. This is my last cup of Pikes Perk coffee. This is my last stroll downtown. This is my last Eucharist at Grace and St. Stephens.

Everywhere I go, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to really soak in my surroundings, to experience everything on a hyper-visceral level.

Aside from the years spent in the Navy and away at college, I've lived in Colorado Springs for nearly three decades. And now I am leaving once again. The differance is, this move has the bitter-sweet sense of permanence. My future career will not steer me back this direction and though family still lives here, guaranteeing frequent visits, I do not foresee ever calling Colorado Springs home again.

And, of course, I've been contemplating the end of larger things.

“Those friends you have,” Shakespeare said, “grapple them unto your heart with hoops of steel.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinners these past weeks have been filled with final goodbyes. More than at any time in my life, I am dreading leaving, not a place, but a people. I have such rich friendships, such extraordinary mentors, such wonderful kindred souls that I am loathe to leave them. I want to encircle them all in real hoops of steel (steal?) and cart them off with me to New York City.

I realize that moving does not mean that those friendships will end. But they will, by necessity, alter in ways I do not wish to contemplate. And I also know that I will find people in New York who will fill that void and become as indispensable to me as my current friends. When I leave New York, this is a process I will have to go through all over again. It is the nature of things. But it doesn't make it any easier.

My dearest Colorado friends—and you know who you are—I will miss your fellowship, encouragement, admonition and wisdom more than I can possibly convey. You have spoken into my life, shaped me, and built me up in ways you cannot even realize. I am blessed and honored to have been encircled by your love and affections these past years and I will take the memories of those times with me wherever and however far I go.

Thank you...

...and goodbye.

16 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

Vale Colorado.

My family live in NYC. My wife and I have just had some respite from the city in Savvanah, GA. I know that Colorado, it ain't. But back to the city in a few days time.

Looking forward to meeting you and taking you to Bennys in the East Village for some pretend (Yankee) Mexican...

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Luana said...

I think you made a very courageous choice, good luck!! : )

L

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Hey Brandon,
I know it's been awhile since I've seen you or Stephanie, but I'll miss you. I have fond memories of you and I back in the day working at Pikes Perk together. I know how you feel about moving away from Colorado Springs. I always call Thousand Oaks, CA home even though I haven't lived there for 10 years. Home is really where your heart is.

You'll be fine once you get settled and get your own place. Then when your career takes off you'll come here to film your next movie.

I'll be looking for you in the credits. Good luck my friend.

Love,
Andrea

10:36 AM  
Anonymous JM said...

Great job Brandon-not just your writing, your life.

I am proud to call you friend-we'll miss you...

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Nice. The whole post, I mean.



But the "Pike's Perk" - I like that as well.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Calvin said...

Dear Brandon:

God's speed to you as you enter this new chapter. We never stop being friends and Colorado Springs will always be your hometown.

I remember when you wrote about the labyrinth that you made reference to me as a mentor. From that I gather that I have been privileged to be among your circle of mentors. That has been MY honor.

Now, a word about mentors in the next chapter; you will need them more than ever. People who are mentor material look for outstanding people like you to mentor. Ironically, the best mentors may not push themselves on you no matter how badly they might want to.

When you see a mentor, pursue them. Ask for more until they say, enough. You will be well received. You will also be well served.

My dear friend, remember that the Lord is with you always. Now, go out and make disciples!

At His Mercy,

Calvin

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

Hello my friend,

Hope all is going well with you, and this finds you anxious for your cross country trip to begin a new and exciting chapter of your life.

I must admit that I am going to miss the prospect of visiting you out in Colorado again, however, the big apple will hold a new list of entertaining activities.

Best of luck to you and Stephanie (please tell her I said hello) in your new adventures in New York.

Take care.

Josh

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

God speed as you leave for NYC.....He will keep you in His hands and help you both through the adjustments and adventures.

your friend,

Sandy

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Bert said...

I know this is obvious, but what a big change! I think moving to NYC and going to film school is the perfect thing for you. If we are destined to do certain things in our lives, then this seems like the right path for you. Sorry if I sound slightly ridiculous, but I love it when people do things that they really love even if its hard along the way.

Take care,

Rebecca

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Deletha said...

I know it will be so hard to leave Colorado, but I am just so excited for you and your new journey. I also know part of my excitement is very selfish as I get to see you when I am in NYC! I also am eager to read your blogs about life in the BIg Apple.

Keep me posted!

Love, Deletha

4:11 PM  
Anonymous BC said...

Brandon-

I too, am sequencing through an end of chapter (hell – even maybe it could be considered a volume) of life.

We are getting our first house on Aug 31st and so I’m realizing a lot of “last whatever” in our current apt etc. etc. etc.

But also with a baby on the way at the end of Oct, there is another set of changes and transitions.

I was always cognizant and mindful of life milestones, even as a little kid. I enjoy having that perspective. Maybe cuz I think it gives life a filmic/story-like adventure quality to it.

BC

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Grama said...

Old friends are gold, new are silver.

Beautifully done, and how well we can relate!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Theron said...

Brandon:

Thanks for the parting letter, it is such sweet sorrow. I pray God's blessings upon you, and look forward to seeing you add a verse to the poem of life. I'm listening to U2 (Zooropa at the moment--for the irony maybe?). It has been my privilege to walk beside you on the pilgrim's way. Peace.

Theron

11:57 PM  
Anonymous BrandAn said...

Dear BrandOn,

You realize you will be thoroughly missed. Of course I know it's for the best.

What an adventure you embark upon. New York has always seemed so steely gray, dark, and industrial to me. In my mind's eye the place will be much brighter now because you are there. You both will flourish there and I know that the wonderful culture and entertainment will be the fanciful part of the big city life for you. I think I can picture you riding around on your bike like JFK Junior, drinking your Starbucks and just relishing everything. I'm not sure if I see you in a beanie-hat or not. What do you think?

Even though we’ve been apart, by reading your blogs I still love the familiarity like when we had those late night chats at the church.

I trust you will love every minute of this new chapter in…. The Brandon Fibbs Saga……

Your Always Friend,

BrandAn

8:13 AM  
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