Every day is like a road trip, some coasting on new pavement so fresh that its lines are still wet, some pot-holed landscape requires steering lots, gearing down on uphill sections – otherwise, medium bumpy driving, average conditions.
Average condition, or actually anything with average in it, has always amused me. There is no average thing or person. Average is a mathematical construct of adding up values and dividing by the total number – the result is average. I’ve been pondering that a lot lately.
Case in point, I’ve volunteered to do some writing for the Cancer Society’s publication. In part it is tribute to Gary. In part it is doing some volunteer work at something I’m good at.
This zinger hit me as I read the scope of my first assignment – to write about a guy, a volunteer of considerable stature. I was sent about 1,500 words of information on him. I was sent names and phone numbers of people to talk to, including the brother of the fellow who died. I’ll call him. We’ll meet, I hope, rather than doing it on the phone. My job is to somehow capture the whole essence, the importance of someone, certainly far more than average – larger than average, exceptional, worthy. All that, condensed to 400 words. If you consider what Lincoln did with just 272 words, maybe 400 should do the trick.
Imagine your whole life portrayed in, reduced to, just 400 words. This will be a test I suppose, to see if my editor likes my work, and for me to learn if I can capture someone so briefly.
No average conditions here …
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -24C / -11F …with a warming trend in the forecast; life is easier I think on sunny days – calm clear days – and even though Gusta’s feet might get chilly I think the sunshine gives her energy and makes her tail wag more vigorously, as it does mine
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