A parable for Tim

In quantum physics, they’ve discovered that light particles are connected. No matter how far apart they are or how impossible it seems, when one light blinks, another responds.

Once there was a filmmaker who pointed his camera at things people didn’t see. People all around the world told their stories to him. He recorded their stories, and shared them. He talked to hundreds, maybe thousands of people. It’s amazing, if you think about it, how many people we don’t hear or know about until someone shows us. Those stories, the ones he filmed, spoke to people’s hearts in many languages and on different continents. People who lived invisible lives felt heard because someone had seen and documented a story like theirs. Because of this filmmaker, they were not alone anymore.

For other people, the stories were surprising, or scary. They couldn’t believe that other human beings were having these experiences. But there they were, looking through the video camera, telling their lives.

The stories lit up something in all these people – something that was there all along but didn’t have anything to connect to.

He told many stories, for many years, never seeming to tire. Everywhere he went, he listened to people. He was intensely thoughtful, joyful, and impish.

And then, suddenly, shockingly, with so many stories still to tell, the filmmaker died. The sparks from the shock lit the night, and then went out. It was intensely dark.

“Now there’s a hole,” people said. “Where he was. There is no one else like him.”

And they were right. But what they couldn’t see was that the sparks had not gone out. Instead, they connected to their sister lights, in hearts all over the world. The impact – maybe the shock – made those lights dance furiously, joyfully, and with determination unimagined. An inexplicable joy and fierceness overcame the people he had touched.

The sparks ignited ideas, burning up self-doubt, apathy, and fear. People who didn’t think they could do something, now felt like they had to, and did.

Those lights still burn brightly – connecting the planet through new work, and more stories,

and inextinguishable love.

For Tim McCarthy. May you burn ever brightly.