|The actual dung beetle rolling his nugget up the trail|
I got an email the other day and knew it was spam as soon as I saw it, because the man it was addressed from is dead. Richard died a few years ago and I found out in a blog post written by a family member. I had been chatting with him on Yahoo just a week prior. We used to do that occasionally, our online schedules similar. He was one of those that would stop in daily and leave a comment and we got to know each other fairly well.
After reading of his passing, I did not write anything for a couple days. I couldn't. I was chatting with another blogger from India that knew him as well and she was expressing her dismay and how she was handling the emotions. Richard's passing was the first time I realized how much you can grow to care for those we have never met, but read every day.
It was a few short weeks later that Barry passed away. I had followed his progress through his blog and even written a piece on him--- ringing the bell at the end of cancer treatment. Over the last three and a half years, many have come and gone. Some you never hear why they disappear. Some you still see around, but for whatever reason you no longer connect.
I learned how to write from a blind man.
He used to come tune our piano when I was a child. He would sit on the bench and fumble his fingers around feeling for what he needed in his box of tools, then cock his head sideways and play a note. He would reach around and make adjustments, then play the note again.
When I write, I realize you can not see what I see, so I often close my eyes and fiddle around with words until I can see clearly what I am trying to say. What it sounds like, feels like, tastes like---so you can experience it. Whatever it is.
At the time, I was not even thinking about writing and I assure you he was not as well. I can't even remember his name but I can still picture him sitting on the piano bench every time I write.
Today, another email came. It was from another blog friend, letting me know of the passing of the son of another blogger. We know each other from one of the writing groups we frequent online. I would not say I know him well, but enough to feel the moment for him in my own way. I stopped in and left him a virtual hug in the comments.
Behind the words we write, behind the pictures we post---there are people. While that seems elementary, I think it is important. Each day when we stop by and read or leave a comment, we leave fingerprints in the play doh. What may not seem like much, may mean the world to someone. It's about people. Nothing else really matters all that much.
I just needed to hear that myself today, as I sit here watching a dung beetle push his nugget up the hill of the trail over looking the city.
I will be gone until Friday night and will not have access to a computer. Be well.
See you soon.