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  • Writer's pictureMike Fowler

We're All Just Daffodil Fertilizer

Some might say that my curiosity and obsession with spending time in graveyards is a tad bit odd. Honestly, I say the same thing about attending sporting events where you spend hours upon hours of grown adults chasing a ball around. We all have our interests. Mine is just a bit more.......special.

As I was pursuing my out of control iTunes movie collection, I ran across an old favorite of mine that I must have seen 100 times in my more youthful days. Dead Poets Society came out the summer of 1989 and it had an enormous impact upon me. That summer my childhood best friend had committed suicide and although we had grown apart the last two years of his life, his death was something I truly struggled with for a long time. Dead Poets Society became a film I felt a connection with. If you've seen the movie it is obvious why.

I think the movie also be came part of the inspiration for me becoming a teacher for over 18 years and why I still like to share from the heart. There are so many thought provoking scenes but one of my favorites is when Robin Williams character, John Keating, takes his students to look at old pictures of former classmates. During the dialogue, Keating challenges his charges with this;

"They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."

Robin Williams left us far too early. His gift as a comedian is just one of his legacies. His performances throughout his career often showcased his manic comedic gift but also exposed deep humanity. After he passed, the bench where Williams and Matt Damon filmed a powerful scene for Good Will Hunting became a makeshift memorial to Williams. People would leave items and decorate the area around it as seen in the pic.

In trying to put the goal of my morbid curiosity into words, the quote above perfectly captures my feelings. We all live and we all die, but in the end we do leave a legacy. Hopefully we all make it a good one and that we all leave behind a story worth telling. With this site, that's exactly what I intend to do.

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