Victus Spiritus


What's Important

24 Sep 2010

The biography of a man I've never met, JLM:

I was born in a snow storm at Camp Kilmer my mother having trudged to the dispensary through the drifting snow to be delivered of her burden by a psychiatrist --- hey, he was the only doctor available. I was trouble from the start.

I was an Ash Wednesday baby --- the Irish think to be the luckiest persons in world.

I have lived the American Dream and realized we are all fundamentally the same --- all mostly good people. All quite ordinary until thrown into extraordinary circumstances. And that most of life is just luck but the earlier I go to work the luckier I seem to become.

I have encountered luck at every turn even while lying beaten and vanquished not realizing that luck had saved me from an even worse fate. I have taken some real beatings and never been tempted to revenge, karma having been my ally and having exacted its own form of revenge.

I have a sense of humor which I am still able to operate from time to time. Knowing myself well, it is impossible to take myself seriously.

I have carved the earth, been tested in mortal struggles, fathered two fantastic kids, built tall buildings and planted trees. I have made a modest little scratch upon the world and know it to be completely meaningless. I love the leveling humility of life. I have been a friend without recompense while earning a huge reward on that investment.

I love people of all types and stations and have noticed that nobody in a sauna is able to convey their own status and affectations effectively. I think all men equal. I particularly like women.

I have charged the fires of Hell with a half full thimble and got out w/ nothing more than first degree burns.

I have married the woman of my dreams and found out I really had small black and white dreams. She has helped me to dream in color. There is just something about those Southern bondes. I was smitten at the first "ya'll" and it took 10 years to close the deal.

I intend to live forever and fight death the best out of five and having lost, I will ask for the best of seven, etc. When Hell freezes over, I will lace up my skates and fight the Devil on the ice. I am not going without a fight.

Everything else has been a blast.

I left a pretty long winded philosophical reply to JLM's autobiography on yesterday's AVC post this morning:

Even though we live in separate worlds and only communicate through a few words and tales, I consider myself fortunate. For having bumped into you here in this place that is not a place, where dreams collide with reality, we discover when one is more important. Dreams can't feed hungry bellies and food can't guide dispassionate souls. My interest has always been building something that matters, just once. But recognizing real value and letting it soak into my bones has been no small, quick, or pleasant thing.

It's not the tools, technology or sleek designs that make an impact. Each time I pick up a new language or framework I use it as a gauge for it's crafter. The real wealth is art and wisdom, the words and forms that convey them, the selfless acts they inspire, and the lives they change that matter.

All the games I play here mean little to those without clean water, food, shelter or hope. Satisfying the current and conjured desires of man means selling what is most needed, not what is easy to sell. Only then do I have a chance of become another missionary for the value of distributed knowledge, communication and how we redefine education.

I can see a long time from know, where the motivation of profit (attention) is measured against lasting social value and community impact just as we weigh environmental impact today. No longer will corporate efforts be shrouded in gimmicks which prey on man's unquenchable thirst for something greater than himself, with nothing more than sparkling sand.

If the world were to end tomorrow, I'd relish one more day building something to be proud of.