Monday, September 19, 2005

A Micro View of a Macro Problem



When I talk about someone losing everything, this is the kind of stuff I am talking about. I just received these pictures from one of the gamer/fans we are helping out.

This is what's left of the home he & his wife spent many years buying & fixing up.

You can see by the mildew & algae blooms what is happening there---everything is soaked and decaying, and getting worse by the day. Everything you see---books to pillows to electronics---may as well be burned to ash---it's just as unsalvagable. The house will be totalled.

So when we say these fellow fans and gamers need even the least of what you can spare, we're not bullshitting. This is what they've got now.

We can talk, in platitudes, about how what they've lost are just "things," and how life and family and what really matters is what counts---and that's fine, and true, sure, and sometimes it can make someone feel better. But don't forget that every "thing" that we have in our lives has a memory attached to it. We remember what we did when we bought it, who we were with, the smiles when that gift was given, the wonder we felt touching that photo or painting, the feel of the sun and wind on our skin on the trip we bought that t-shirt on. A part of us gets demolished with every "thing" we see ruined---a part of that memory is gone from our lives.

It pisses me off. Personally. I lost my studio to fire in the 1990s. 80 percent of my life's work, 100 percent of my materials. I remember with horrible clarity walking through the charred and steaming ruins of what had been my most beloved place. The acrid stench of the slagged plastic and the popping of the remaining glass as it contracted from cooling filled my senses, and I remember the tiny wisps of flaked, blackened paper that used to be my whole career's lovingly crafted artwork, drifting all around me like demonic snow flurries.

Within weeks I became a volunteer firefighter to not just fight fire, but go out myself and kill the sumbitch. I did not want ANYone else to go through what I'd felt.

Now, look at this. These are my people, dammit. Our people. And this kind of loss pisses me off. The man's wife was---and is---an excellent sculptor. In the wreckage you see here is the wife's artwork and materials---utterly destroyed. Gone. And I know exactly how that feels.

So the box is being packed now, and goes out tomorrow---books. Sculpting tools. Polymer clays, jewelry findings, paint, primers, finishing glazes, rotary grinder, adhesives, vinyl gloves, grinding bits, drill, armature wire. Her work will not be allowed to perish from this earth.

The misery will end. Together we're going to find where it preys upon our fellow fans and friends, we are going to hunt it down, and we are going to kill it, by bringing our people the indomitable joy that no despair can bear to endure.

3 Comments:

Anonymous AutoJim said...

As someone who is all too familiar with what you went through after the studio fire, Larry, here's a fresh lance, 'cause that line of windmill dragons just keeps getting longer in spite of our best efforts.

Let's go whack a few more.

Good on ya, Larry. We get enough folks with lances (or enough C4) we can take care of those windmills once and for all...

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also there during the fire, in fact I helped fight it. It was a scary thing and I hope I never have to see Lerry go through something like it again. Good on you and Misty for helping when and where you can.

I have already donated all of my still good t-shirts and some other clothes to the Red Cross. I am badgering my company to donate overstock clothing that it has around.

We will all make a difference.

Dusty Rhoades

5:08 PM  
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1:33 PM  

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