I enjoyed the day off.
Provided to me by men and women who went without rest
so that I could have mine.
I thought it better late than never
to share my immense gratitude to those
who have valiantly served this country.
Who have written a check that only deals in the currency of lives,
and walked, unafraid, into battlefields.
Of every shape and color.
Last night, I came across a paper I wrote in college
a reflective essay about a paper, authored by the artist Maya Lin, that I had to read for class.
Below is an excerpt.
I hope you enjoy:
I saw an aerial photo of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial while I was still in high school. I remember thinking the sculpture was magnificent, and so uniquely unattractive. The monstrosity was large and black and menacing, and I was certain that it looked the way the soldiers who survived Vietnam must have felt: scarred. I had read that Maya had wanted it to look like a scar on the face of the Earth. That it was to be a reminder of those left on the dead, the wounded, and the veterans of such a horrific war. It was the first time I ever thought a scar was beautiful, and certainly the first time I ever thought of one as poetic or poignant. It was also the first time I realized what “art” actually was; that it was not a term used exclusively for gallery paintings and church ceilings, but that it is a feeling. It is the feeling that brews within your soul when something powerful happens; something rare and unexpected. It is the roar of thunder on a balmy summer’s eve as the storm erases the day’s hot sun. It is the rush of adrenaline that pulses eagerly through veins as teenagers plunge headlong into love for the first time. And it is the calm serenity, the gentle knowing, that washes over you at the very moment that you comprehend precisely what it is that you are yearning so desperately to say, and you finally find the media with which to say it. A voice. A brush. A shutter and lens. Song. That is art; it is alive in everything. It exists everywhere.
Here's to making art.
To creating something,
each and every day,
that puts breath to your voice
while simultaneously taking that very breath