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  • Writer's pictureMOCA+

String Theory

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

An old boyfriend once told me that I reminded him of a fly on a string, zipping in upward directions with boundless optimism, while he was more zen than zag, tethering the other end to the solid foundation of earth. This is not the reason he’s an old boyfriend, and to his credit, the analogy was prescient without the tragic trajectory.

I have known two things from a very young age: that I rarely stop moving, and that life is meant to be lived looking up. I met my match one summer afternoon almost twenty years ago in a phone interview with Michela O’Connor Abrams – she barrelling across the Golden Gate Bridge with a four-year-old in the back and I tucked away in a quiet house with my new husband in a little town outside of Toronto.

In the twenty years since, Michela and I have developed a connection unlike any I have known. We work together with an innate rhythm that can’t be manufactured, the mutual respect and support having evolved into a fiercely loyal, lucid, and true friendship, leading to some of the deepest laughs, greatest self-discoveries and most important decisions of my life.

This is one of them.

I have decided to start a new chapter. These past months have proven to be a mercurial incubator, delivering debilitating moments of fear, division and uncertainty in the same swallow as great swings of optimism for a better, more deeply connected world. It has offered me the unexpected opportunity to sit quietly, to listen, and to embrace uncertainty.

But of this I am certain. I need to switch lanes, to use this state of suspension as an opportunity to evolve, to more clearly navigate life’s unknowable patterns.

I am honored beyond words to have been in this rich and wonderful partnership with Michela for these two indelible years. She is an effervescent light in an unpredictable world – fearless, positive, and fueled by an extraordinary wealth of generosity and love. What we have built together in MOCA+ is emblematic of that spirit, with a lot of grit and a little more grey.

MOCA+ will continue to blaze brightly, and I will never let go of its greatest strength: a deep foundation of laughter and love.

Shelley Tatum Kieran is Partner at MOCA+

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