Thursday, October 10, 2013

Casting a (Tiny) Light

I had a weird kind of morning today. I mean, most of it was normal enough, I suppose. I got up, I wrote, I took the kids to the rec center, pretty normal Thursday morning stuff. But there were a couple of odd little bits that got stuck in my brain and have rattled around for the rest of the day until I gave in and decided to put together a blog post.

A bonus blog post! The Idea Salesman will be so thrilled.

It all started while I was lying in bed, flipping through random apps on my phone and trying to locate my get up and go. I’m slowly working an extra hour into my morning so I can have more writing time for November. It’s not going well, but I’ll get there. Anyway, one of the apps I use to tell myself the snoozing is actually productive time is my RSS reader and I came across this post on The Oatmeal.

Now most of the stuff about Columbus was stuff I already knew because I also had to read A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, in high school. (In case you didn't click the link, Christopher Columbus was... not a good guy.) But I was caught by the bit at the end, the bit about Bartolome de las Casas and “casting light where there is darkness”. Because Mr. Inman is right; pointing out all the bad crap about someone is easy when you get right down to it, but going out and finding someone you can really look up to is a bigger, and better, challenge. I’m very on board with that message.

Happy (early) Bartolome Day!

I eventually made myself get up and get my day started, and the idea got filed away in the back of my brain with the other LOLcats and querying tips and badly decorated cakes brought to me each day by my RSS reader.

A couple of hours later my husband and I were talking about a coworker of his who had just lost his wife to cancer and discussing whether or not he was going to go to the funeral. Somehow the conversation devolved into me getting all riled up and ranting about the government shut down and the wonked up priorities of most folks doing the “leading” these days. I won’t get into all that here because, you know, the rules of polite conversation and all that.

But I will say that in the middle of the whole scree I did take issue with the fact that we’re sitting here in the future that was supposed to be all Star Trek-y goodness and we haven’t cured cancer yet. Cancer is a somewhat sensitive topic in our house. We have personal experience battling that bitch of a disease.

And then I took the kids to the rec center and while my daughter was in her art class I was fiddling around with my phone again and came across another interesting post in my RSS reader, this time from John G. Hartness over on Magical Words.

What do you know? Someone else ranting about the government and getting pissed off that we haven’t cured cancer yet. It would have resonated with me anyway, given the aforementioned sensitivity to the topic, but in light of the conversation I’d just had with my husband an hour before, it really caught my attention.

I wish I could say I’d be writing this blog post anyway, even if I hadn’t just been being all pissy about the same topic, but I know that’s probably not true.

You see (for those of you who didn’t click the link yet), Mr. Hartness got all pissed off about how we haven’t cured cancer and, rather than just randomly venting his frustrations to his spouse over coffee, he’s decided to form a non-profit organization to help artists who are suffering from it and other diseases and disabilities. He’s taking that same rage that he feels and I feel and possibly some of you feel and he’s doing something positive with it.

For a few hours, I was a little ashamed of myself. After all it hadn’t really occurred to me to do anything. Other than rant at Long-Suffering Husband. And then after my brain chewed it over for a while, I decided to stop being ashamed of myself and let it inspire me instead.

Now I’m probably not going to go off and start my own non-profit organization or anything. I don’t have the first clue about how to do something like that and, to be totally honest, I really don’t have the time or energy to learn it all, let alone go out and actually do it. I’m sure I’ll think of something else cause-worthy to contribute, because obviously the notion is going to stick with me until I do.

But for now I know I can spare half an hour to dash off a blog post about it. It’s not much, especially since this is a small little blog read mostly by bots, but it’s what I can do today. Consider it me casting my own tiny little light, my contribution to Bartolome Day.

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