The Metaphorical Unwanted "Artist"

During the week of 10 July 2016 through 15 July 2016 I went to another state to complete a portion of the necessary Medal of Honor grave rubbing, for my project. My plan had been to finish the first part of the project within the western side of Oregon, though I was unable to complete two separate individuals. The first individual was located within the Grand Army Republic Cemetery for specific personal reasons and the other is a soldier named Private Frank C. High in Medford Oregon, whose grave is incorrectly labelled as per the CMOHS website with the HOH website. I hope someone who knows which group to speak with to remedy this Medal of Honor recipient's marker can bring this to the attention of necessary people, to correct the mistake.

While at a different cemetery to complete one Medal of Honor recipient I learned the final place I needed to visit for the time allotted for the trip was directly across the street from my current location, at the time. While packing everything up to make my way across the street my headache pain had already sky-rocketed from previous altitude changes and the bright sun-light combined with ambient sun patches, I barely pushed on through the pain. Internally I knew I could not complain as the individual acts of each Medal of Honor recipient I had worked on had endured far worse than a headache, bordering into a migraine. Forcing myself across the way to locate the final Medal of Honor recipients, I completed the rubbing of each marker which felt right. As I placed the last rubbing into the trunk of the vehicle a grounds-keeper for the cemetery pulled up next to me, asking me about the grave rubbing.

The male initially said he thought I was solely paying homage to their service, but I explained the Medal of Honor artwork I have been doing. We laughed and joked as if we were old friends through the common ground (pun intended), of prior military service. During a moment of our conversation I stated while completing another Medal of Honor recipient prior in another portion of Oregon, I had come to a realization. Though I joined the United States Army to serve my country to protect all citizens' Constitutional Rights to become the first female Command Sergeant Major of the Army, I would not have been able to complete this artwork for the recipients. While I hope to inspire others to honor those whom gave everything they had for this country during crucial moments in war, the combined background I have would not allow me to be enriched as much as I am and have been through these individuals.

The male smiled and jested as he sat inside of the truck, "You wouldn't be a rich artist, either."

His comment stuck with me and I have been processing the words and slowly, throughout the time since our conversation. Throughout the miles of pavement, my mind went in multiple thought directions. Passing the open fields with random electrical posts away from the trees, my thoughts increased in the sporadic patterns of inquiry and wonder. Once completed with all markers' rubbing, I returned home. Looking at the calendars around the rooms and my planned list, I logically understand the time frame I was gone. How time felt while completing each piece could only be simplistically described as each marker felt as if it was a single twenty-four hour period, at minimum. There were a handful of sites which felt longer than a day's time, but I have figured out it may have been the pain level jumps and surges. By the time I walked into home, it seemed as if I had been gone for just over a month. Working on calming the pain levels to a tolerable level to function with some coherent responses, I have come to this conclusion.

* I am not rich because of any monetary means though admittedly, I am enriched by learning of these guys' honourable acts of valour.

* I could not consider myself be a "rich artist" since I have not sold any of the Medal of Honor artwork pieces and those whom have received the works never expected them as when I think of a "rich artist" I envision someone whom has sold their individual pieces of artwork for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, while they were alive.

* Since the artwork for each Medal of Honor recipient appears at random, none are truly expected.

Most normal people whom did not grow up attending a church surrounded by a square mile cemetery do not want to discuss death nor drive past the resting place of the deceased, but I want to go because of the enjoyment of the silent serenity of resting history. Most people do not want to discuss death while they do talk of their ancestry though I want to appreciate, all aspects of life. Most individuals do not want to acknowledge death is a natural part of life nor do so when rationalizing existence nor taking the time to think about the deeds necessary during battles and wars with an enemy, nor do they want to comment of the strength and courage from each individual and team effort for a successful completion within the bloodshed of combat.

However as the sun moves through the sky above outside I find myself thinking I did not want to become an "artist", I wanted to be the first female Command Sergeant Major of the Army. I did not want to deal with headaches/migraines/memory problems/cognitive disorders/etc. though, I cannot complain in comparison to the Medal of Honor recipients. I do relish and honour their individual glorious acts leading to triumphs while I want to inspire others, to similarly appreciate their valour. With the combination of my personal past and the present existence I live while moving through to the future I have known I am not a rich artist, nor could consider myself as such for prior stated reasons.

If I must be labelled as an artist I would consider myself as an "Unwanted Artist" as per the prior statements, though a grateful one for all of their heroic deeds.

#MedalofHonor #MoH #SusanMeeLing #TheOrneryPSA


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