Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Life Celebrated

"Cushion the painful effects of hard blows by keeping enthusiasm going strong, even if doing so requires struggle." -Positive Thinking Every Day by Norman Vincent Peale

This quote fits today a bit better than the actual quote in the book. Granted, it fit yesterday's struggles at work to a T, which is more than a little disconcerting in a fascinating and sort of prophetic way.

That being said, today is a low-key memorial for a dear friend of mine. As a former Renaissance festival performer, I have a colorful collection of wonderful friends. Each more interesting and big-hearted than the last.

Last week, our tightly knit community of rag-tag individuals received some very sad news. A great friend and very good man had passed away. In this amazing and warm community of people, Norman David Morris was by far one of the best.

I've long been of the opinion that funerals are not only depressing, they're a little on the insulting side. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the religious aspect of remembering their lives and giving them to whatever deity is the most fitting for their memory, but to be honest, I find it all unnecessarily sad.

Celebrating a life lived seems much more fitting to those who really touched the world with their warmth. We lost Norm too early for my taste, but if given the option, he probably would have been someone I'd have kept around for a good many years.

In the spirit of our renaissance family, we're raising a glass to the man tonight. The most fitting libation that I could think of is Scotch. As a reenactor, Norm was most commonly outfitted as one of three things: A Danish prince, a Viking, or a Scotsman. As a good Scotsman, he was known to often carry good Scotch.

My first season at the CORF, it rained a few weekends very hard and became very cold very fast. I learned quite quickly who had flasks of very potent and very warming liquors. Its a very useful thing to keep on yourself, actually. A flask can calm nerves, create friends and keep one warm on a cold day.

The first person to ever hand me Scotch was our dear friend Norm. I was dressed that season as a Nun with comically enhanced features (including giant, out of proportion fake breasts). It was a hot costume in the sun and a freezing cold costume in the rain.

As a potent liquor with its quickly warming effects, it was my favorite libation for bad weather. In fact, because of that effect, now every time it rains I crave Scotch. I blame Norm for that. *grins* So what better way to celebrate the passing of this great man than to get together with good friends and raise a glass of Scotch to him?

Sounds like a plan to me!

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