On Friday afternoon, Jamie and I attended the beautiful memorial service of our friend Paul Pojman. The time in which we knew each other was fleeting, but the impact his heart made on this community will be a constant reminder that we have an obligation to continue in his footsteps. He was dedicated to expanding minds, living ethically, and speaking through his hard work. As the tribute by Red Emma's says,
"The loss of Paul Pojman hurts all the more because he was so consistently focused on patiently building for the future: his thought was always oriented towards the steps we’d need to take to build capacity in the long haul to remake our lives and our society, towards building infrastructure, creating ethically consistent institutions, towards planting seeds that might take decades to fully germinate. He deserved to see many, many more of these seeds grow and bloom; and it is our task to see to this long and patient work in his memory."
I hope each and every one of you has either had or will have the opportunity to know someone with such an unequaled passion for life and hope for the future. During his memorial, one of his students commented that before meeting Paul she was under the impression that a person could either be a part of the "institution" or be a radical. Paul displayed that it was indeed possible, and perhaps beneficial, to be both. Balance.
It's something I'm feeling strongly right now. Spending my mornings as part of the institution (sort of) and my afternoons as a "radical" (sort of). There was once a day when being a sheep farmer was average, but these days, for someone who's twenty three and skipped the college thing it's not so normal. I'd like to think it's radical. That and this recent buzz of illustration, mycology, and photography energy. Exciting things are happening!!!
Thanks for being our catalyst Paul. Thanks for thinking of the future. You're right- we can all be honorable "ancestors" if we choose to live that way.