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Some of you may have noticed my absence of columns over the past few weeks. I figure I owe y’all a proper conclusion.
This column has been, and will continue to be, a source of pride for me over the past almost three years. I appreciate the opportunity to write for all of you. I appreciate knowing that y’all have been reading and learning with me. I appreciate that Christa has given me the opportunity to explore this idea in the first place.
The South is a magical, wonderful place. I wish more people would come to love it as fiercely as I do. Unfortunately, there are so many things that tarnish our reputation. We’re known for our people, our communities and the incredible art that comes from the most isolated stretches of this region. Unfortunately, we’re also known for white supremacy, cruelty and willful ignorance. Someday I hope to see a South that rises above those things. I want to see us move past the Confederacy of idiocy that has co-opted our culture. I want to see us extend the love we have for our neighbors and our communities to the world abroad.
Will that happen? Probably not.
But I hope that I’ve inspired some of y’all along the way to see past the stupidity shouting at the front lines of Southern culture. We live on land unmatched within our country. We overcome isolation and destruction to create beautiful communities. We allow our art and our expression to be colored by the people around us who inhabit our hearts.
There are so many beautiful things to see underneath the surface. And for the past few years, I’ve felt my own heart grow in the process of observing these things. It couldn’t be all about the good stuff, though.
I am critical of our failures as a community, because you cannot truly love something by only seeing the most attractive parts. Love is about taking the ugly and accepting it as a part of what you love, then supporting it to grow past that ugliness.
At this point, I think I’ve said everything I want to say. Thank you, everyone, for reading along with me. This column is going to be on hiatus for some unknown amount of time. If I feel inspired to share some new things with you, I’d appreciate the paper to continue to present my ideas to you all. But I also don’t want to write just because I’m supposed to. Those of you who knew my dad are well aware I know what it’s like when someone goes on talking far past saying what needed to be said.
It’s entertaining for a while, but eventually everyone has to go home.