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Monday, January 10, 2000

Terminal Mom and a Staff Blurb Draft

It turns out the reason for my mother's spur-of-the-moment visit is that she's dying. You wouldn't know it to meet her -- she and her husband are both relatively young and fit, physically and mentally; hikers, kayakers and snorklers on the weekends, and doctors during the work week. We didn't really discuss it until she was saying goodbye -- I got the basic facts from her husband, and there's not much else to say -- but, in her goodbye, I saw for the first time in her, perhaps ever in as many years as I've known her, genuine fear of what she was soon to face, with the words "Well, you know, the reason I came is because... something really horrible is happenning..."

It is quite possible I will never see her again.


Garrett*'s parents are still here. His father was just released from the hospital today. They were supposed to leave Friday but couldn't. Not a good week for our parents, I guess.

Michelle is gone. I remain in the one bedroom apartment, tucked away in the corner of the school where people rarely go. Nice to have the isolation, but it's not far enough. I'm finding intermittent isolation to be somewhat jarring.

In the midst of this, I am trying to write an inspirational staff blurb -- something to let the parents know who they're handing their kids off to. Under the circumstances, it's hard work not to morbidly focus on the terrible state of the default world available to their kids... Must focus on the good... Here's what I have so far:

Simon Funk

Pursue your interests and the rest will follow.

We are evolved to be successfull -- the things we truly enjoy
today will also bring us a better tomorrow.  These are human
traits: to enjoy learning, to seek a challenge, to create, to
master, and to move forward to the next thing with an ever
growing resevoir of skills and knowledge.  Again and again,
I see that successful people -- those who are happy throughout
their lives -- are the ones who largely ignored societal
expectations, who chose their path to serve their own curiosity
and inner ambitions.  Mastery of an art comes quick and with
pleasure when it is driven from the heart, and such mastery is
a valuable and unparallelled commodity -- both to one's own
enjoyment of life, and as a marketable skill for sustaining
one's life.  And in this way, one's "life's work" can also be
one's "life's play", with the two as one leaving nothing to
regret and much to enjoy.

Children embody this notion implicitly--they are born asking
why, seeking truth, and craving mastery of their environment
so they may shape it to their desires.  It should be no surprise
that when we constrain them to a pre-ordained path, they kick
and scream, or fade in boredom, or perhaps worse yet fall in line
and loose their inner spark; and so we see their "failure", and
apply more pressure, and in the end completely obscure all
that is in them, unutilized.  ...

Ick. Needs much work.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com