Friday, November 19, 2004

Cherish what you have

I've been closely following coverage of a house fire in a small town in eastern Ontario. A pregnant woman and her seven children all died when an overnight fire consumed their home. Husband and father Marc Woerlen is now left to live his life, alone. This is his story.

Whatever your situation, wherever you are, look long and hard at what you have, not at what you don't. Thank God or whatever being you worship that you have been so blessed. Think of Mr. Woerlen every time you think your lot in life is difficult. As you tuck your kids into bed tonight, kiss them an extra few times, and hug them tighter, and longer. They may not understand now, but they will, someday.

If you don't have kids, repeat the above with your significant other or anyone else who means something to you. Do anything to spread even a modicum of goodness beyond yourself. At the end of the day, it could be all that is left.

For one, I wish I could do more than simply write words that, while comforting, don't do a whole lot to concretely and obviously fix what's immediately wrong with the world. Their impact is felt over time - which is ironically all that a man suffering a loss beyond comprehension has left.


Amelia said...

What a tragic story.

You are so right, so many times we take for granted what we have. We focus on unimportant things, when really all that matters is those we love and care for.

You've reminded me once again Carmi of what really matters in this life. Thankyou.

Joan said...

Carmi - I've said it before and I'll say it again - you are a really talented writer and an amazing human being. I know we've never met face to face, but it's so evident in how much you care about the world around you.

As we head into this holiday season and get bent out of shape by the slightest of things because we feel like our nerves are frazzled, it's definitely good to remember that there are people in this world that would love to be in our shoes.

I am heading up to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her new husband. We'll eat too much and play games and watch movies and sleep in a warm house. There was a time in the not too distant past where we couldn't do that, so we are both soooo thankful for this wonderful opportunity.

Carmi - You're right - your words may not cause instant change, but how does change really happen but with the seed of a idea, written by a thoughtful and articulate man, such as yourself.

carmilevy said...

Amelia: I think I seem to be carving out a writer's niche by noticing the little things in life that pretty much everyone else overlooks. My grandfather called it minutae, and I always thought it was so cool that he could micro-observe something - squirrels climbing trees in the woodsy park across the street from his house, for example - to the exclusion of all else. It was as if nothing else mattered for that block of time. My observational blinkering skills aren't as advanced as his were, but I'm working on it.

Joan: Thank you so much for your note. I don't think I deserve it: I don't think I'm all that different from others around me. I'm just doing my best to navigate this world without mucking it up for those around me. Sometimes I think that I struggle more because of my calling as a writer - not to sound spiritual, but I really believe this is what I was meant to do. After all, the muse inside my head is always churning ideas, refining them to the point that I'm ready to write something about what I see, experience or feel. It alsmost seems to exist in a little world of its own, and it calls on me when the formed stories and thoughts are ready to come out.

I feel good knowing that I'm on a path that allows me to share this with others and, hopefully, return some of that benefit to my family through the establishment of a fulfilling career. It's that grounding I have in the calling of a writer - the belief that there's a greater good to what I do and an eventual purpose that I haven't quite achieved yet - that helps me deal with the more mundane, day-to-day aspects of my work life as I slog through jobs that pay the bills until the words can take over on their own.

I'm getting there, and this is all part of my journey. It's thanks to your comments that I am motivated to keep pushing myself in new directions as a writer.