"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."As for me, I would prefer to do both at the same time. Until then, I will be content with every day works I consciously accomplish, both good and "memorable."
I would like to be known for my humanity and simple acts of every day kindness. I would like to think the things I do make a difference in how the world views me, the people in it, the bugs I don't step on or save from others who might - - things like that. Today in Wal-Mart, I traded carts with an elderly lady. Her's was squeaking up a storm and it was embarrassing her. It bothered her so much she stopped to tell me how awful it was. Seeing her dismay, I offered her my perfect, unsqueaky cart and we swapped our stuff over. She was grateful and toddled off - - in silence. I squeaked away, laughing to my Self, wondering if I would ever be old enough to care if my cart squeaked? Doubtful!! I mean this is not give-someone-a-kidney-great, it's paying-attention-kindness-great.
One time, and to my husband's EXTREME dismay, I hugged a fella who was standing outside in the cold giving away poppies and taking donations on Veterans Day. I put some money in the can and took my poppy. The guy said how cold it was so I threw my arms around him and hugged him before either of us really knew what happened. It was great and rewarding. I didn't stop to think about the propriety of it, but my husband did. He just kept looking at me all the way home, like I'd lost my mind. It was very cold, and it wasn't at all sexual. It meant people can reach out without risk sometimes and give to strangers from their heart.
I also want to be remembered for being a fierce single-minded warrior. Many years ago, I lived and worked in a different locale, way more city-fied than here. I was divorced and living alone. I left my apartment one morning, headed for work, and needed to stop first at the local grocery store. I noticed this weird guy driving a shit-box car who looked like he was following me, so I drove an alternate route all over hell to see if I was right. Well, I was. He followed me to the grocery store, INTO the store, and was in the next line, buying tacks, tractor tires and dental floss or some other unlikely combination. I was really checking him out at this point, all slitty-eyed and pissed off. How DARE this jackass follow ME? THEN he followed me to the gas station, where I stopped. He parked at the pump on the other side from mine and was standing there outside his car not pumping gas. I was so f--king furious, not scared, mind you like a normal person would have been. Spitting nails furious.
There's a saying that ignorance is bliss? Ever heard that one? Yeah...let's just say, I was ignorant of the implications of what this gorilla could have done to me even on a very busy street in broad daylight. Television shows like "Criminal Minds" and "CSI-Miami" weren't even thought of then.
Anyhow, so I say to this guy, "I know you're following me, you jerk." Yeah, why pull any punches? Let's piss off the psychotic slasher who could bash my head in with one slam of his ham-fist and toss me into his trunk. I weighed all of a buck-ten at the time? And I continue, "I've written down your license plate number and I'm going to call the police as soon as I get to work you f--king asshole."
Even though it has been many years since this encounter, I know this is my verbatim speech to a certified psycho killer/serial rapist/cannibal with zero regard to my safety or my continued safety. This guy obviously knew where I lived. (Hey, Bees, you think I have balls now, you should have known me then...!!!)
What I'm trying to say in more words than most people would use - - is I want to be all things, good and "memorable." I want to be remembered. That's what this whole exercise is about. Finding my place.