A friend lost his battle with cancer today.
Another friend is facing a similar ending very soon.
I know that neither one of them had the time nor the opportunity to fulfil their potential or fully realise their dreams. Both were talented creatives, one was a writer, the other an artist. Neither one ever gave up trying to find traction in this world and offer their shining gifts.
You don’t know their names and for the most part they will disappear into obscurity and a grave marked only with their names and lifespans. They will be forgotten, their words, paintings, smiles. All gone.
But there will be an afterglow, a residue of brilliance that will linger like perfume and signpost the paths they took through their difficult lives because genius leaves an indelible mark, a residual glow after it has passed. Genius or soul-light leaves a trail of sparkle that continues to light the path and inspire others for centuries. Like its opposite, abuse, it’s easier to recognise in the people around them than it is in the abuser or the genius. They appear quite normal to the outside world but those affected by the abuser’s hatred or the genius’ singular light show signs of proximity.
Genius is the light we shed in life and the afterglow of our having lived.
I hate the value system that supports people who accrue nothing but wealth and make no perceivable difference. It saddens me that so much real wealth in terms of inspiration, scientific invention and artistic endeavour is squandered in favour of business. I can’t change that and neither could my friends but I can salute them for their courage in the face of insurmountable challenge and thank them for the beauty they left behind, beauty that will keep resonating and increasing in value even as the piled gold of the oligarchs tarnishes and diminishes.
Wherever you are my beautiful friends shine on.