Our lives are a lot like that of a wave, in how we roll through the sea of life, in an ocean of existence, headed for some place. But unlike a wave, we have choices we can make that determine our final destiny. Those choices determine who, and what we are, because we learn from them. Hopefully making for a somehow “better” you and I. The ability to choose is what makes us human. The desire to select by principle, can make us something else.
In the Gospel there is a key saying that has always spurred me when I needed it: “Faith without works is dead.” I sometimes need the spur to be taken to me. My friends and subjects are generally quite happy to oblige.
A simple e mail had dropped into my G mail in box mid week. It was from Venturan Steven Schleder, someone I had met in the course of our recent city elections. The crux of the message was: :”Are you still going?” The letter was in reference to a Memorial service for Col Lewis Millett. A man who had dropped everything and come to Steven’s aid several years ago in a quest to restore a desecrated graveyard in Ventura. You can read a little about that here via K38 Rescue’s blog. My home town did something vile in it’s past. Many believe that honor dictates the desecrated graveyard be restored somehow. Steven had been the sole man to charge up that hill. The city understandably, sought to marginalize him.¬† Now there are many more behind him. The number swells as our honor bound friends hear the sordid tale.
When I agree to shoot something, I know that my simple “yes” means anywhere from 2-5 days worth of work. In this case I had said yes 6 days prior and promptly shelved the affirmation. (I had forgotten about it.) Steven also asked if I could maybe shoot motion. Imagine a slot machine and all the little icons whizzing by.¬† Ding ding ding! That was my psyche the day I realized that my own word had snared me. Okay I would shoot a film now, in addition to stills.
A quick e mail to my partners and colleagues asking for someone to step forward, brought three responses from three men. Tyler Swain and Rob Dafoe would do it if there was no other. Aaron Marcellino said that though he had just arrived back in town by train that day, and was moving into a new house, he would be at my door at 6:30 Saturday morning with his motion kit. We have a good group. Any of us would come at a moment’s notice for another’s project. Each person has mad skills.
Aaron and I arrived at the Riverside Memorial which stands overlooking March AFB at 9:30 am and dragged our gear a 1/2 mile or so and without a word, fell into our separate production roles.
What passed before my eyes remains burned into my psyche. It will make for a great short film. I look forward to completing it. You can read more about Col Millett here.
If you have never been to a Military memorial, please take some time and look at these images. We made them to honor Col Lewis Millet: Medal of Honor holder, but much more than that, a man of God who earned his repose in a dedication to country, family and honor, out of love for his fellow man. No, the irony does not escape me. It enforces just how important this country and a true moral compass heading are.
This beautiful piece was sent along by my old friend, Terry Irwin. It says a lot about the human condition.
As we head towards Christmas, maybe ponder a little bit about sacrifice, love and strength. Have you made a choice about who and what you will follow? What shore you will wash up on?
Here is a beautiful piece about Christmas and small honors leading to great things.¬† Think about the beat of the snare as you see the casket headed for the dirt of a cemetery. Now think about someone bulldozing the thing. My town did that. They made it into a dog park. Bad choice.
From Drew Kampion:
In things best known to you finding the best, or as good as the best,
In folks nearest to you finding the sweetest, strongest, lovingest,
Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for
another hour but this hour …