"You know, I can't really answer the big question of the why's of what's happening out there because the only answer I have is to ask myself how am I adding to it?
At first, she reacts, “that is a really hard question. Not an easy one!”
Nonetheless, I start the recorder.
Flashing back to the day. A rain-drenched afternoon of location scouting for an upcoming production. Bumper-to-bumper traffic to the burbs of Los Angeles. The objective: Find the perfect home for a healthcare film and photo shoot. I know, not a terrible thing to be working. Especially in the media arts industry. A career where it is not irregular to burn through your savings in the downtime between gigs. To add to that, and for all of us, existing in these days of corporate cutbacks, digital job searches, AI hiring filters, and higher-than-ever competition, is a fact we are all facing as we seek our means of self-reliance. So yes, I’m grateful. But in this gratitude, I must turn my appreciation toward a power beyond myself. Toward the spiritual beliefs I have, toward those who believe in me, and toward those I believe in. You see, I am not on a mission for riches. Quite the opposite. I am on a quest to grow a cultural outlook. One that (in all transparency) can not only help me to better know and treat myself; but rather, can be shared as ideas for better knowing and treating ourselves, as well as others. So per the work? Again, I give a most humble thanks. For in it, the means for me to continue this journey we are on together.
The day is over, and thanks to an offered guestroom, I’m dry and out of the cold. Sitting in the living room with a close friend, her husband by her side, as I sip hot tea (Oh, how quaint! Hey! Is it so wrong for me to show my sensitive side?)
Okay. My setup of the scene. Release the poetic Richard. 🙂
The crack of fire fills the room.
Between every wood crack,
The moment… more than external heat.
I feel within.
My rational mind… wanders,
Hidden to the friendship around.
A tough spot in life.
The quiet examination of Whys!
The exposed exploration of justifications!
I turn to her,
Hey, you’ve got to give me some credit for that? Popped it out in 5 minutes.
Now, back to Pam.
“Well, the first thing that comes to my head is, why are we here? And as I ask myself that question, I think it’s to experience feelings and pain. To be able to transcend our mechanism. Maybe to reach out and care for others, and because of that, be able to maybe help each other.”
Yes, Pam has been a friend for years. But beyond that fact, and if you knew Pam and the hardships of her life, you would understand the description I have of her. In the eyes of this author, Pam is a person I identify as a friend of friends. A person who has learned via the school of hard knocks, a person who has risen from the lows, and a person who is to be modeled.
For Pam, service, and care for others is core to who she is. Something evident in her outstretched definition of Why. Yet, Pam is not a pushover or a bleeding heart in any manner. She is direct and holds no punches. Calls it as it is. The wonderment is, however, the way she does it. In no way diminishing others as she examples the right way to, yes, agree, but more powerfully, in making the hard calls when everything is out of whack. And as she does, Pam is all so real. Does all she can to refrain from guile toward others. More compassionately, toward herself. Certainly, traits to be admired, or like I said, to model.
The fires still burning, I take a breath. Refresh my hands in the radiance of its light. As I do, an expanded Why arises. I turn back to Pam. Asking, if you look at the world today, as it is—the hows, whats, and reasons for where we are now—both the good and the bad… do you see a different Why? Even… why we are here? I challenge.
“You know, I can’t really answer the big question of the why’s of what’s happening out there because the only answer I have is to ask myself how am I adding to it? And I think if you think about how you add to it, then it makes you think about why it’s happening. And I think if everybody thought about how they’re affecting it, we’d come to a conclusion that, you know, we just need to be kind and understanding.
There’s a lot of hurt out there. And I think that transcends us, and provokes us to feel more pain or less pain, and that makes us react, and then we can just see ourselves like he would like us to be. We just have to keep playing whack-a-mole with our feelings and move forward. That’s it.”
Somewhat silent, I reflect on Pam’s council. And looking for the next great question, my mind blanks. The music of H.E.R playing in the background as I watch Pam take in the fireplace. Calm and reflective she remains.
With Pam’s words replaying in my head, I close my eyes. Pull my fingers away from the keyboard as I visualize beyond the world in which we live. A picture fills my imagination. Wraps around me as I press for more to say about Pam. With that, and in the spirit of keeping it pure, I’ll simply type this: “Pam… Thank you!”
Talk tomorrow my good friends,