Though it wasn't a conscious decision at the time, it doesn't surprise me much that I started my blog exactly fifteen years from the day my cousin Michael died. Michael, whom I've discussed in this forum before, was the inspiration for any and all creative outlets I've pursued in my life. Most successes I've achieved, creative and otherwise, have come from my lifelong desire to emulate him. (Alas, I was blessed with about 1/53rd of his natural talent, but I know he'd be proud of me for trying.)
I could get all "wah" about it, and talk about that day sixteen years ago that we lost him, and how it changed all of our lives, and how much I miss him. But that would be hard, and sad, and thoroughly depressing. It would also take the point out of damn near everything he taught me. Michael was about love, and fun, and living, not boo-hooing about the hand he'd been dealt. He was also about sex and drugs and music and art and friends and good food and learning and laughing as much as possible so that at the end, he didn't wish he'd done anything different. He imparted upon me a love for Jarlsberg cheese and The Pretenders and dirty jokes. He's the reason I learned to play guitar, the reason I went to college, the reason don't hate broccoli anymore, the reason I'm a writer. He schooled me well, just by virtue of who he was. I'm lucky to have known him at all...I'm not about to spoil that by crying about the fact that he's gone. I'm sure Michael'd much rather see me celebrate a year of consistent creative effort than lament his passing today.
So I'll just keep writing, and doing my thing, and appreciating my life. If...when...I get a book deal out of it and become a huge star, all the better that I'll have my cousin to thank.
I had the opportunity to speak at Michael's funeral all those years ago. I was 16 and heartbroken and couldn't find words of my own, so I used those of someone I knew Michael admired. Unlike most things that made sense to me at 16, they still hold up.
The Endless quest a vigil
of watchtowers and fortresses
against the sea and time.
Have they won? Perhaps.
They still stand and in
their silent rooms still wander
the souls of the dead,
who keep their watch on the living.
Soon enough we shall join them.
Soon enough we shall walk
the walls of time. We shall
except each other.
Happy One-Year Bloggiversary to Me.