The Importance of the Impossible
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Live to Create

Posted by A.E. Marling in Uncategorized

Written the day after the Boston Bombing, 2013.

The news out of Boston yesterday devastated me. As a runner myself, I could all too easily imagine jogging down the street, or perhaps cheering on a friend racing the final stretch. The explosion would have lurched me off my feet, left me chocking, ears ringing, hands bleeding from falling on broken glass. I might never have run again.

A marathon is a celebration of life, and the attack on the race was not intended only to kill and maim but also to injure our sense of safety and joy. The villains who perpetrated this had a choice between airing their grievances in a constructive and nonviolent manner to create a better world, or to destroy. They chose poorly.

To create, a painter works thousands of hours for the mastery to craft beauty. A villain needs but seconds to burn art to cinders. More intricate and wonderful than any painting, the human body can perish in the same instant of violence. A villain is someone who despairs of being able to create something of value and instead lives for the pleasure and infamy of destruction.

With the act of destroying so much easier than creation, it would seem humanity stands little chance. And yet we build. Each year we increase our knowledge, create new art, find new cures, and attain new records. Even if destroying is a hundred times easier than creating, for every villain there are a thousand who will stand together and outdo the wrong. Some will even rise to the height of heroes.

I count myself among those who create. As a writer of fantasy novels, I craft new worlds and scribe adventures of imagination. But let’s not loft artists on pedestals. Scientists create new knowledge. Teachers create bright minds. Builders create places of safety. Programmers create new technology. Farmers create produce. Waiters create dining experiences. And families create the next generation. Together, we create lives worth living.

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4 Responses

  • Sandy Oicles says:

    Keep on running and dancing, Alan. This tragedy should not stop anyone from doing what brings them joy. The fact that it is so sudden and no one is sure who planted the bomb makes it even more evil in my eyes.

  • Excellently put, Alan. It seems to me that there is nothing so petty, so contemptible as those jealous, shortsighted people who choose to destroy rather than to build. You can’t even site their lack of talent or skill, as many of these folks go to great lengths to strike out at the world, refusing to accept that the world itself is not to blame for their circumstances. Their choices are pathetic, and mankind will not stop moving forward because of them. If anything, the tragedies these criminals perpetrate brings more people together.

  • Dean Jordheim says:

    Creation is everything. A tangible item, a captured view, a bond, a feeling, a smile. Which one is more important than the others?

  • I live in Brighton, UK. On Sunday I was one of thousands of people lining our city’s streets, cheering on friends and strangers as they ran the Brighton Marathon. It never occurred to me that it would be anything other than a lovely day by the sea being inspired by people pushing limits n raising money for good causes; but there, but for the grace of God, go I… It really makes you think. Thank you for creating beautiful words from such terrible tragedy…