Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Saturday, August 24, 2013

6-17-13 RMB Contribution

6-17-13 RMB Contribution
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
On the flight home from vacation, I began reading Bingo. As always I anticipated the words prior to page one, like a child opening a present, I looked forward to their contents.
They contained “it”. The “it” that drew me to Rita Mae Brown. I carried them with me for days, still do, literally and figuratively, as I read Bingo. I had a niece read them. “Yes, that is what my instructor, my mentor, says about acting! That’s exactly it.” She get it. She gets me.
I read the words to a sister and had a coworker read them, who said “I see why you like her now.”
These are some of those RMB words…
“I have been fortunate in my readers. Not only do you faithfully buy my novels, you show up by the hundreds and sometimes even thousands to hear me speak and you send me blizzards of fan mail. I am grateful. Who could ask for anything more?
Well, I am going to ask for more. I’m going to ask you to consider carefully your own creativity. Many of you set aside your creativity for “practical” reasons. It isn’t within the scope of an introduction to list painfully why and how people abandon their imaginations but it is within the scope of this introduction to encourage you to find yourself again. You haven’t lost your creativity, your imagination – You’ve simply misplaced it…
…You might wonder why I’m impassioned about your creativity. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I will be enriched by your creativity. Whether or not you publish a book or sell a painting isn’t what I mean. What I mean is that activating your imagination is going to make you more exciting to yourself and to others. The second reason is that imaginative people forge new solutions to old problems. Right now we need every thinking person to set forward and contribute to a safe and sane future. Your are part of that process. I celebrate your contribution.”
This was dated February 28, 1987, and is still as true today as it was 26 years ago. This is another reason for my admiration. You see the challenges we face, the ones that will take decades to solve, and you offer hope, a path to follow, a way to participate in a resolution, a nudge forward.
Many leaders will draw up documentation, tell others how to live, enforce order. Then there are some that see beyond today, who know that it is not what we do today or how we do it that matters. It is who we are, what we can draw out of each other…and what we leave behind. It is how we affect one another on into the next generation and the generations that follow after that.
RMB, I celebrate your contribution,

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