Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

7-3-13 RMB Create

 7-3-13 RMB Create

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

A cousin has passed away today. It seems appropriate to note his passing here, a marker in time that clearly states, today we lost our cousin. 

My heart goes out to his family. I remember once watching him play baseball on a family trip through New Mexico. He was a tall, muscular young man. I believe he was still in his late teens, bright and handsome. Not having seen him for decades, it is a stretch to picture that strapping young man as a middle aged adult whose body failed him. 

The editor Jennifer Redmond referred me to a website with instruction for being a better writer. I found this quote there:

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
~Chuck Palahniuk          

Two thoughts struck me. One was of my cousin and what he has left behind, his legacy. He leaves me with the memory of warm summer day in a community ball park, watching him play and then afterwards enjoying a BBQ meal with his parents and multiple siblings, including brothers that also played. One memory of a day, with one person, multiply that times the days of his life, the people in his life, the result is mind boggling.

Secondly, when we work to improve anything, we improve everything. That quote was by a writer and could be read in relation to writing specifically. However, it could also be read in relation to life. Our lives are short and shorter still is the time in which we can contribute to such a creation, one that takes on a life of its own on a grand scale. 

From another perspective, every creation both the grandiose and small, lives on. Whether we paint the ceiling of chapel or doodle a flower, we have created something. Some would argue that one is greater than the other, one holds more importance. I think that is an element at the root of our discord. 

When we judge, we determine greatness based on our own nominal awareness rather than recognize the greatness before us and relish in its unique nature. We diminish each other’s creation and, by doing so, we diminish ourselves too. This is where iniquity flourishes. This is how one preference is determined to be “right” and makes all others “wrong”. This is how minor discrimination leads to concentration camps. 

Until we honor each moment equally, respect each person, appreciate all creation, both large and small, major and minor, we are missing something. We are missing an opportunity to be better.

Ever amazed,


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