Stepping into the Light

Have you ever done a Google search on yourself? I did a couple weeks ago, apparently while experiencing an onset of attention deficit disorder. I often find my mind hundreds of miles from where it's supposed to be. Recently, while doing research on endowment spending policies...exciting stuff to be sure...I found myself reading an article published in the New Yorker titled "Letting Go." ( ) See!

So, back to the point...while digging for dirt on myself, I found my name listed in a blog posting. While not familiar with the blog, MoseMiddleMan, I was certainly intrigued and clicked on the link to learn more. I was blown away! Here is a portion of the post dated July 15, 2014 (used without permission):

"Stepping into the Light"
"This is the beginning of…well whatever this is. I am sure that I read, or heard somewhere, that every great journey begins with the first step. I have, and will draw inspiration from what I see, or very likely feel, on any given day. At this juncture, I have no idea how often I will write, how long the posts will be, subject matter….frankly it seems just a little bit scary putting myself out here. But if I understand the obligation of a writer, it is to do so without any expectation of how it will be viewed by others. I will try as best I can to write with my own voice with as much candor and authenticity has my heart and mind will allow. Specifically, I feel some obligation to mention some people who have touched me in such a way as to allow me to pursue this.
Joel R Harbaugh is …well, he something else. Joel and Mary Harbaugh have some children the same ages as my wife and I, and we met some years ago and became friends. Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer and after a courageous battle, died some four years ago….not sure of that time frame…I am old and time gets away. Joel’s courage and commitment to his children and family is also awe inspiring. His positivity defied anything that I could personally imagine. He simply would not allow this tragic incident to define him. Joel embarked, very quietly I might add, on an exercise that became a book…. “It’s Beautiful Here. A Year in the Eye of a Hurricane.” Joel had begun immediately after Mary’s death, a commitment to not only find and see the beauty that surrounds all of us each day, but to document that beauty with photographs and captions and then share them through social media (Instagram and Facebook primarily) Pretty heady stuff for a man who had seen and lived some pretty ugly stuff…few things uglier than cancer in my estimation. One evening, I made a pass through my news feed and saw one of his posts, not sure I could tell you which one specifically, but it struck me. I had seen others, but it moved me. I suppose what it really did was make me ask myself a question. How could a man, who had endured so, so much see all this beauty that was seemingly getting by the rest of us?…maybe I shouldn’t speak for everyone…but it sure as hell was getting by me. In many ways it mystified me. So….I posted these words….” I look forward to your pictures each day. Your gift to see the simple beauty around us all, and recognize it, is inspirational to me. I hope those who view your pictures, read and savor the descriptions…they are emotional and supernatural. I admire the way you go about your business, your family and career, all with such grace.”

Joel had “It’s Beautiful Here” was published in 2013 and present me a copy when he visited for the annual Whitlock Christmas open house. It had been a few years since he had come by…understandably so. When he arrived he quietly handed me a copy...shhhhhushing me in fact…which he had signed. I excused myself to give it a look…away from our guest so as to not draw attention to the book, as Joel had seemed to request. I recognized after a moment that is was a book of his images…a photo journal if you will of his captured daily beauty. I took a look at the back, where you might find reviews of perhaps more widely published books…and it smacked me squarely in the face. Joel had included my Facebook comment on the back.
Even as I sit here and share this, it moves me to tears. No on had ever thought enough of anything I had ever said, so as to even repeat it, as far as I knew, let alone put it on the back of a book. It made me cry...still does when I look at it. Folks...that is a Christmas gift, and it provides inspiration in this endeavor. I love the Harbaugh family. Thank you is clearly not enough. Maybe something more will come of this...something beautiful...we will see."

Needless to say, I figured out who MoseMiddleMan was pretty quickly! His words caught me off guard, and brought me to tears. This is an example of a simple act of gratitude going boomerang! Thanks for the kind words Bucky...take care of one another. )


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