The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

November 21: Never Far Away

Our favorite dino blogger Ra wrote a post earlier this week about perspective. In it, she was sharing about a tiny world map she has on her computer and thanks to it, she is never far away from any of us -- the post was a birthday greeting to a friend who, were it not for the tiny map, would otherwise be a world away.The post made me think about this thing called perspective.We live in Southern California and there are mountains behind my home. I look at them every day and think about the first Mormon settlers who came to the area and developed the city in which I live. As a side note, it is nearly impossible to get lost here -- every street runs either north/south or east/west, so if you keep driving, you will eventually find a familiar landmark. But I digress.I look at those mountains and imagine what it must have been like to walk across them from somewhere back east. It took us about four days to drive across the country when we moved here: how long would it take to walk with a wagon and a horse?I look at the mountains and occasionally I will ask my husband, "How far away is that?" as I point at the peak of a particularly interesting mound. Sometimes the answer is something like, "Oh, that's about 15 miles" and I gasp in shock. Two miles, 15 miles, it's far to me (I'm not the best with distances or ages, so you'll always be young and dashing to me, friends) and I marvel. It becomes particularly interesting when a plane flies over because I then ask, "How high is that?" and the game continues.Writing is like Ra's map. It keeps us close to the people and things we love. Have you read The Brief History of the Dead? If not, you must. The premise is that those who have died continue to exist in a place called the City, so long as someone on Earth remembers them. I bought this book based on its cover (yeah, so what I wrote a post about covers not too long ago -- don't judge) and was quite affected by it. Writing about those we love keeps them close.As long as we continue to write them into our stories and books, they are here. They live on. And as long as someone is reading, they won't be forgotten. They will never be far away.

International Label Day

November 20: SCPP - The Villa