Monday, February 19, 2007

Its all in the Yang.

Yesterday morning a guy got in his car and drove to Washington.

He didn't go because he particularly wanted to... it wasn't even his idea originally. But when he left my little pastoral urbania is the one that lost. On an artistic level, we lost the best actor we had. We lost the best director we had. Metaphysically we lost the other side of the taijitu. I no longer have a compassionate atheist to spar with until the wee hours of the morning. Some people lost on all sorts of levels, some lost a friend, a lover, a confidant. But that's not the most important loss we suffered. And his leaving should teach us something. I may have lost the ability to sit down face to face with this gentleman, but for those of us that call him our friend we'll always have him by email or travel. The most insufferable loss will be by those who will never have a name for it. In a town full of people that all believe generally the same thing and look generally the same way, we lost someone who was remarkably different. We lost someone who added flair, flavor, and perspective to any occasion or conversation. We lost someone who could have added a new hue to the tapestry.

Dave Atell has a joke where he claims that Alaska has the angriest KKK chapter in the world. Every time they meet they say, "We've got to do something, this is getting out of hand, we have to get.... Eric." While a committee of any type gathering to deal with a different sect that only has one member in their area is funny on a certain level, we've created a community that makes those that are different from us fight a battle every day they live here. I have no idea what its like to be part of the labeled minority. One of those people who's label is just enough off center to attract the scrutiny of the generally judgmental. But I know that as long as I let those people remain the loudest voice my little burg will continue to lose the most interesting voices that we have. The ones that if I do disagree with are the only ones capable of making me stronger. The ones that if I do agree with will provide me with the inspiration to carry on that belief.

My friend is now gone, not from me entirely but in the way I've grown to know him. And we are poorer for it.

The only solace that I can find in this fact is what it has taught me as I write this. This town is not small minded, nor is it conservative, nor is it judgmental.... because this is my town. And I will not allow it. I will change its voice. Or I will become the label that's a little too far from center.


Christian said...

That was actually the nicest tribute I've been paid in...well, maybe ever, frankly. But what's a taijitu? What an excellent Scrabble play.

Jay said...

I may not have known you Christian, but I find it odd that your so named and are an atheist. On the off hand you come back to our little burg, I must have a beer with you.
And I agree Mike. So long as there are open minded people (however few of you there are), Ada will not be a complete pit.

Viva La Revolution!