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 US Sergeant Major Jim Wolfmeyer (photo courtesy Fred Harms, extraordinarydemos.com)

 

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Remembering Departed Friends

Jim Wolfmeyer (Photo F. Harms)

Download the song:

Ol' Jim (Magic in Them Feet)

Written by William Clark
Sung by George Clark

Ol Jim (Magic in them feet) album cover
(p) (c) William Clark

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A desire to remember

Since nomadic, early man explored the continents we have left memorials to our departed -- a simple heap of stones, a carved headstone, a pyramid. The greater the ties of affection the stronger the desire for a reminder. The more notable the person whose life has influenced others the more powerful the desire to remember and mark their passing.

All cities have places where statues honoring their heroes are displayed as memorials to those who have made an above average contribution to their times. The dedication of great buildings to worthy people is a practical way of reminding visitors of their importance. One of the most noble and wonderfully designed buildings in the word, the Taj Mahal, was dedicated to the memory of a beautiful lady by her grieving husband.

Taj Mahal India

Taj Mahal: Copyrighted by Historylink101.com & found at India Picture Gallery.

Many forms of rememberance

Stone is a most durable substance and expresses the desire "to remember for ever" very well. Bronze is also chosen for statues as it does not corrode easily.

Other forms of remembrance have their own power to inspire and bring back the essence of the departed. A carefully designed rose garden inspires a mood of gentle, beautiful thoughts for a much missed partner or friend. Gifted artists can capture not just the likeness of a person but also the spirit. The photographer with exceptional talent captures an image that says more than its contents.

Tribute poems: Since early times, poets have reflected the deeds and doings of worthy people in inspired words -- conveying moods and impressions through the poetic art. A poem is like a dried flower sighing back to life when a sympathetic reader reanimates it with feelings and responses. The spirit of the departed rises from the poem.

Epitaphs: "words written above a tomb". They speak of the departed and are often excellent examples of much content conveyed in few words. Verse is very popular as an epitaph as poetry adds an extra dimension of feeling and emotion to the sentiments expressed.

Ballads: Poetry leads eventually to lyrical song. Ballads commemorating events and lives have been part of folk music from distant times. The ordinary person, who sings from the heart when moved by strong emotion, creates a living memorial that carries information and also something of the nature of the person who inspired it.

As a poet and songwriter, I am mostly inspired by beauty of form and soul in women but occasionally the character or personality of a worthy man will also act as a stimulus to creation.

What finer memorial than a lyric that lives on the lips of the people -- that only those with a heart of stone could fail to be moved by?

Read the story; hear the song of one such memorial: Ol Jim (Magic in Them Feet)

 

Copyright W.Clark 2008