"You can't take a picture of this. It's already gone."

Monday, March 11, 2013

For a Friend

I went and saw some friends yesterday
and it was gloriously good, and I feel renewed
spiritually because an afternoon and evening spent
with friends is more healing to me then a lifetime spent
at a church.

Girl time combined with favorite couple I know time
is awesome. Thankfully they don't get tired of me bumming
around their place sporadically.

And while there will be a post about them someday, because
I love them, and this is the only tribute of worth I can think of
that is not what this is about.
While I was there, I noticed that my friend had a
book on his shelves. As I looked further, I saw he had multiple books
by this particular author which lead to a conversation that had my other
friend abandoning us for a few moments as we reminisced.

The author of these books was named Brian Jacques.
He wrote the Redwall series of books, as well as the Castaways of the
Flying Dutchman series.
Both my friend and I read them, him back in the early nineties, I expect
and I starting around a decade ago, at the age of 11.
And my friend then let me know that Brian Jacques died in 2011.
And I didn't know until last night.

So dear Mr. Jacques,
I did not know you personally
but I feel your loss like we were friends.
The words you wrote sustained me during elementary and middle school.
You taught me about the fantasy genre, and what beautifully descriptive stories
do for the imagination. When I was lonely and friendless and in pain, Martin and
Mattimeo and Mariel and Matthias and Triss and everyone else in that world
comforted me and loved me and told me I could be a warrior even though
I was young and female and angry and alone.
That the strength of your heart
could be better than the strength of your arms.
And that being a legend
does not always involve being the bad guy.
That being a hero and being afraid are not mutually exclusive things.
That regardless of your upbringing, it is the choices you make
that define who you are and what people remember about you.

So thank you Brian Jacques
you gave me the first nightmare I can remember
with a snake that I've been terrified of for years
and an eye for beautiful descriptions in literature
and stories that I'll be telling my children for years to come.
For giving me connections with friends
and connections when I didn't have friends.
I will pour out a libation for you tonight
and light a cigar
and think of you.
You will be mourned
you will be missed.

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