Sunday, September 11, 2011

Greater than Fiction

From the Speakers: BROKEN STATUES by We Came As Romans

I've been sick most of the weekend, so excuse the blogging absence. And I mean sick, too, as if I were Silly Sammy Slick sipping six sodas. But I'm back in action today, September 11, finishing this blog and moving on to some short stories that have been waiting patiently for me to get to them for some time.

It was truly moving to turn on the NFL this afternoon and see all the 9/11 tributes, the homages paid, the lives remembered, and the stories told. The stories are just overwhelming. They are more poignant, more personal, and more human than any I've ever read in fiction. If you met their equal within the pages of a book, please, tell me where I can find it.

It's well known that real life is often more unbelievable and amazing than the things people dream up and write about. Thus, the term "Stranger than Fiction" exists. But the 9/11 stories are Greater than Fiction. How can any writer of fiction hope to match that kind of magnitude? To strike that close to the heart? To have that kind of an impact? In my humble opinion, they can't. All we can do is strive for it, but personally I think that's the way it should be. In these arenas, if in few others, nonfiction reigns supreme. Maybe that's why stories like those about 9/11 and Pearl Harbor and Band of Brothers will forever bring tears to my eyes and raise the temperature of my blood.

There are so many stories, I thought I would pick one to share: if you are an American and do not know the name Welles Remy Crowther, you should. He set the bar.

As with all things, life goes on. I think it was MLK who said "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." A hard thing to strive for; a lot to ask. I admire those left behind on 9/11, who had to rebuild their lives and their hearts and try to find reason to live. But there's always a reason to live, a reason to hope. When you die, you're done, but while you're here, you have potential--to do good, to help people, to positively impact others. I hope I can positively impact others through my respective careers. Maybe I will be lucky enough to create a character like one of the many I've heard about today, and someone will read about him or her, and that someone will decide to live life in a better way.

We can only hope.

God Bless America.

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