The graves in the cemetery in my town are marked by widely diverse symbols. Some have large stone buildings with columns, some with prominent crosses rising high above the ground that can be seen across hundreds of other graves. More of the graves are marked by simple slate plates with the minimal words for the minimal cost, usually just a name and two dates.
I see these people all around me who will end up under the headstones that they are making. One man I know cannot be happy unless his monument is honored even before it is built. Others I know have even forgotten that there is supposed to be a headstone to show all the later comers that they lived such important lives. These people neglect to expect the credit for their daily work which often goes unnoticed at all, never to be translated into the size of their headstone.
It is that translational work that is so irresistible to some and in which they are constantly engaged. The problem is when these translators run out of material, they must repeat, distort or invent their material. I have seen this done so seamlessly that I marvel at the well-practiced tongue and deceived mind that engage the practice so tirelessly. Language littered by my’s and I’s has such a telling sound in a conversation or argument. We’s and Thee’s show a longer look which neglects the headstone.
Whether my spent body is burned or buried, ornamented or desecrated, I choose today to act with for-ness. My God is for me. Let me love to live for others. Let me continually present my technical and creative works as a gracious giver who has forgotten to count.