Words to Live by

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Being an aural portrait, a memory, and a word photograph of EPCOT expeditions. With commentary.

Overheard this evening while standing outside of the Land, photographing some sort of wild berries. A man speaking to wife and at least two children of age of reason. "I spent an effing fortune to get us here. Now shut up and enjoy it." Now, with the golden inspiration summed up in these stirring words of leadership, solidarity, and caring how could anyone fail to have fun?

Then there is my dear father, God rest his soul, whose grim determination and iron will propelled his wife, seven year-old daughter, and teen-aged daughter, along with Linda, Samuel, and myself through a whirlwind tour of all the Nations at EPCOT. Fondly memorialized in family tradition as the EPCOT Death March, it culminated in my father flying into a frothing rage when my younger step-sister wanted to buya pencil as a souvenir. The stuff golden memories are made of.

Contrast these two with the picture of a young father, perhaps twenty-eight, twenty-nine, sitting on the pinkish brown curb outside of the great Globe--Spaceship Earth. Obviously tired and hotter than he'd ever been in Wisconsin, or Iowa, or wherever he came from to visit. He sat there holding his daughter--peaps seven-or-eight sprawled across his knees asleep. And he and his wife were chatting, smiling, and laughing. I wish I'd had the courage to ask for a photograph. A photograph that would serve to remind me that a proper ordering of Earthly goods leads to the same wonderful end--ourselves sprawled across the knees of our loving, indulgent, heavenly Father.

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"Then there is my dear father . . . (in) a frothing rage when my younger step-sister wanted to buy a pencil as a souvenir. The stuff golden memories are made of."

Oh, Steven. This sounds familiar to me.

In our case, with our Dad, we kids would have known better than to persist with the request for the pencil after initial indications of his displeasure were made manifest . . . if we were lucky, the frothing rage could thereby have been averted. . . (shiver)

Dad passed away some years back, God rest him, also. . .

Dear Marion,

Yes, I do understand, but in all fairness I should make two things clear. One is that it took only one request for my father to start frothing. The second is that is frothing never went further than spectacular fireworks of non-abusive ranting. By that I mean he never demeaned us by calling us names and never, never, never used anything remotely approximating foul language. So, all-in-all, probably not the worst thing in the world--but as it was the only emotion he seemed to express, it could get wearisome.



"The second is that is frothing never went further than spectacular fireworks of non-abusive ranting. . ."

Oh. I'm glad for you, Steven.

We weren't so lucky, growing up.

Totally off topic:

I was thinking yesterday about people who don't seem to "get" evil, who seem to think "whatever your point of view is is valid". And the people who do "get" evil, and with that, the necessity of (a) naming it for what it is and (b) stopping it at all costs (I do not mean "by evil means", but by "exhaustive, unrelenting, heroic means"). I was thinking and wondering whether people who survive significant childhood abuse (emotional or verbal or physical), if they do survive and make it into functional adulthood, these are people who have looked evil in the face and lived to tell the tale. They know evil for what it is, and are highly motivated to keep it out of their lives.

People who have never had to learn to live and suffer and function with the effects of evil in their lives (including involuntary evils committed by mentally ill persons, for example), they're never going to "get" what evil is and why it needs to be stopped. (Lucky them)

Well, I have wandered far off topic. Thanks for listening.

Dear Marion,

That's why I thought it was important to say. I complain, but my life was really relatively easy in comparison to many I know. And yet as with these many it was sometimes very, very hard.

And I think you have a real point about evil. Until you meet it personally, it is an abstraction. But when you have had to live with it and fight through it, it becomes real. And it is indeed a terrible reality.

(So you see, unlike the Disputations thread, I do acknowledge, from time to time, that things are not all roses and buttercups. But then, doesn't that make the roses and buttercups all the more precious?)



Well said, Steven!



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 25, 2005 9:55 PM.

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