WEEKS AGO, in an earlier post, I wrote about watching as a few feet away, surgeons removed gallstones through a tiny incision in a woman’s abdomen (U Can’t Touch That, June 26). Such encounters, in which I come face-to-face with experiences, and people, that I might not have otherwise, continue to be among my favorite things about living life as a writer.
I hope you’ve experienced what I’m talking about, not necessarily through writing, but by whatever means life might take you off your own particular beaten path.
For me, this formula, one part living this life as I’ve chosen to live it and one part having that life take me down roads I may not have chosen to take, creates a chemical reaction that brings about a change inside of me. Another way to describe it is as a kind of gentle friction, in which my personal rough spots are painlessly worn off when I choose to put myself in a position to encounter unfamiliar people, places, or things.
For instance, despite being rather nutrition conscious and, in my advocacy, tending perhaps to be less sympathetic to someone suffering gallstones, I soon felt empathy for this patient who, for whatever reason, came to a place where it required surgery to remove minerals built up in her system. I’m just embarrassed to say it took seeing her being cut open for me to get there.
Similarly, I don’t spend much time around cowboys and western folk anymore, so it took writing ads for the National Cutting Horse Association to remind me they’re an exceptionally good-humored lot. Or do I just say that because they thought my headline above was funny? Naw, deep down I’ve always known it to be a pretty accurate characterization. I just needed to be around them once more to remember.
And that’s my whole point.
The entire ad, designed by Les Kerr Creative for the National Cutting Horse Association’s upcoming World Championship Futurity, can be seen here.