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Day 18: Lessons From Forrest

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
~Oscar Wilde

This quotation makes me think of the scene in “Forrest Gump” where Forrest asks Bubba to lean up against him so they could support each other while they slept: “you lean against me and I’ll lean right back up against you and that way we don’t have to sleep with our heads in the mud.” After a few of these nights of sleeping upright against each other, the rain suddenly stopped, the sky cleared, and the stars came out… And Forrest thought of Jenny.
I couldn’t find a great image of that scene, but I found this small collage of pictures from the torrential rain during movie’s rendition of the Vietnam War. One day it just started raining and it never ever stopped. There was sideways rain, and downwards rain, and rain that even seemed to come from below. But no matter how much it rained, it did finally stop and since his head wasn’t stuck in the mud, Forrest was able to see the stars.

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For some time I thought I was “looking at the stars.” These days, though, I’m not so sure that I have been. I don’t think I really fall into the category of the people in the gutter looking at the stars… I’m just in the gutter.

I wish I could re-write my card to K for today.  In the card I said:

“…I am thankful that you are supporting me and keeping my head out of the mud – it helps me to see the stars when things do settle down a bit.  And, it helps remind me of why I’m here.”

All of that is still true and I wouldn’t change that.  I would add something else, however.  I’m not sure how eloquently it can be said, but here it is:

Dear K,
You are the one who is always looking at the stars, and I know that I haven’t been doing the same.  It is inspiring to me that you are always looking up and keeping your eyes focussed on the end goal.  I know you have been trying to help me do that, and I am sorry that I haven’t been so receptive to your efforts.  I am not always looking at stars and instead I am bobbing in the mud.  Your persistence for optimism is impressive and that is just another skill that I need to learn from you.

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