Saturday, May 17, 2014


Everyday we have the opportunity to be the best we can be, we have 24 hours of opportunity at our disposal and in dark times at the expense of others. We can be anyone and do anything in the span of 86,400 seconds and yet a handful of those seconds can determine so much, can hold a lasting impression on us and our world as we know it. What would it be to live life in hours, minutes, seconds? Don't put off til tomorrow what can be done today. Don't miss laughing with loved ones to create a perfect tidy kitchen, because in the end the sparkling counters and pots are no reward for laughter missed and hugs not administered. Sometimes news is so numbing that we see our world seamlessly flowing around us and we are disconnected from the true order of things. We take in news, good and bad, and the moment our brain recognizes and distinguishes the order of things we are making plans, conclusions, filling the void in our head with lists as the ache in heart grows. Such is  a similar feeling when your phone rings on Saturday morning and your father is in a state of confusion, discombobulated from his morning ritual because he is ill-equipped to handle the news of another dear friend diagnosed with cancer, too much heartache and death over the past year and it continues streaming into his world. This time, stage 3 pancreatic cancer, immediate surgery required, so immediate the surgery is done before word is spread to friends and family, the doctors advise that any dreams Mr. Kenneth holds should be acted upon and that these are his last days, to live with vigor, care and purpose. To create his final chapter and spend moments with dear ones laughing, fishing, sitting on the bayou, traveling if he has the strength and also the dark side of things, getting his affairs in order. He is in his early 60s, a Cajun man through and through from Arnaudville and a really good cook. My first memory of him is that he is a bayou man, similar to my dad but wilder, the alligator man, one of the last swamp people, a man that can spot a gator and wrangle and skin it before you even saw the water ripple, proof of this lingers in his camp and skins are nailed to the wall. It is this precision that he will live these last moments, months, weeks, days, minutes and seconds and squeeze the last drops from life like someone squeezing a lemon over freshly cooked fish. It is with a heavy heart that my dad will visit him today, and then we will all carry on and continue with the thoughts of him and his family and those of my uncle, whom is fighting a similar battle, and their dedication to life and family and land will not be lost. If nothing else, when news of pain and heartache and the too soon ending of one's life is brought into our world, we smile with greater intensity, we smell the flowers and the trees and embrace the sunshine, we tell our fathers we love them, we spend extra moments holding on to our lovers and we forever etch the profiles of our children into our hearts so their youth and beauty is never forgotten. Life is a series, a culmination of breaths, smiles, tears, antics, colors, joys and pains, and through it all we create our own masterpiece. A work of art too grand for the Guggenheim, the MET, the Reine de Sofia, the museums of Paris and beyond. A piece so large that it can only fit in the heart of man. A living gallery that is spliced through generations and merged with new works, ever-changing and evolving the originality and individualistic properties of the art.

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