I’m one week away from the Detroit Half in memory of Jeremy Richman. Running for Jeremy has been filled with insight/ sadness/ and intense emotion all circling around a curiosity about his life, the life of his little girl Avielle, and the rest of his family living on in their honor. I met Jeremy in 2017 before he shared his story with PeaceLove. It just so happened that we shared an Uber together on the way to the event. He jumped in the front at the last minute and I recall it like it was yesterday. The passion behind his work and the sensitivity he shared was unmatched. He shifted my own thinking around humanity and it’s because of him that I’ve switched to saying “brain health”.
We all make mistakes, we’re all conditioned from past experiences, we all feel joy and pain and the infinite gamut of what it is to be human. Despite the struggle, there is a lot of beauty in this world. Jeremy said it best in a friku… “Imagination from wonder into wonder. Existence opens.”
While running for Jeremy, the concept of compassion surfaced time and again. It’s a powerful ideal meaning, “to suffer together”. Life is suffering and as a human being, I contribute to that lot. My practice is geared towards alleviating it, but it’s not always possible. I’ve been thinking of this recently, the ability to live up to ideals is a high expectation. A friend offered this insight, “ideals are peaceful; history is violent.” That makes complete sense. I think it’s called, “being in the arena of it all/ seeking the aliveness.”
The ideals we choose to uphold require vigilance and they can’t be practiced in an ivory tower. I’m far from preaching because God knows I’ve fallen from that tower. I’m reminding myself that there’s always going to be paradox and messiness and hypocrisy and these jumbled balls of yarn. Within all of that, I find nuggets of truth/ faith /sheer awe/ high frequency emotions. It’s a blessing and easier to feel or photograph versus explain. I’m just grateful for it. Jeremy leaves a strong legacy filled with the spirit of discovery capitalizing on the most amazing things a human being is capable of… with imagination being at the top of the list. In that same spirit, I created this composite from a scene on tonight’s river.
May that wonder live on.
Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts.
If you remain true to them, your world will at last be built.