Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Epiphany, West Memphis

I continue to read things because I might find something that would be helpful. Sometimes I read against my will, like when I am in a public restroom. I recently had the chance to do some of this sort of reading as my wife and I drove home from Texas. On one grimy wall around a urinal in West Memphis, Arkansas, I saw much of the usual fare: the phone number of two supposedly open minded women; something duragotory about Arabs; a crude poem. This is such an interesting meduim. One can write, remain anonymous, and keep the illusion of having published something lasting, something guarenteed to be read. What most of these contributors had written, however, was not beautiful, not worth keeping. (One exception might be the person who wrote at the bottom of the condom machine, Don't buy this gum; it tastes like rubber.)
Below all of these, closer to my shoulder, was written this message: I love everybody regardless. This is the most beautuful thing I have read for some time. This is the message I have longed to hear. I love everybody regardless. It refutes the statements above it simply by changing the terms of the conversation. It stood out so much that I fear it has seared my eyes. I recall these words as I washed my hands, and as I walked past the Slim Jim products, back into our car. I love everybody regardless. I long to love like that, loving regardlessly.

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