“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Epic ….

Dsc 8090 1Photo: D. Paul Graham, ‘Mud Bath’ circa 2018

“Monday 5 Things”™ …..  Epic ….

ep· ic (ĕp′ĭk) 1: Of, constituting, having to do with, or suggestive of a literary epic; a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero;2: Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size; 3: Heroic and impressive in quality; and 4: a series of events or body of legend or tradition thought to form the proper subject of an epic.

The images span a body of work that encompasses over 40 years of photography. Moments of my life. Moments with friends. Moments with clients. Moments around the world. Moments captured on Kodachrome, Tri-X, Ektachrome, Kodacolor, and digitally. As I reorganized them in my digital storage system, the images took me down a long road of reminiscing over epic memories and moments that surpassed the usual or ordinary in my life.  This morning’s M5T shares some epic moments that still feel larger than life.

1. Discovery

That moment as a young teenage lad that I first heard Charlie Parker. He played his saxophone epically fast and intensely, at times almost frantic, and yet always controlled. Something moved in me that started my life-long love of jazz.

2. History

That moment when you wonder where history has taken us. Our generation held the remnant of concern that those Russians might some day drop a nuclear bomb on all of us. That moment in 1987 as President Reagan epically declared at the Brandenburg Gate “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” and then thousands of people literally broke the wall apart. The barrier that for 26 years symbolized Russian strength and oppression was gone and with it the world changed.

3. National Pride

Twenty-five years before the fall of the wall and at the height of the Cold-War, there was that moment when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal for Canada against the U.S.S.R. in the 1972 Summit Series. Likely more epic for Canadian M5Ters, this victory is seen by many Canuks as more important than the birth of Canada as nation in 1867. I was 9 years old, watching the grainy broadcast from Russia on an old black and white television that was rolled into our classroom. We joined a nation that shut down to watch the eighth and final game of a month-long series. Down 5-3 in the final game, physically and emotionally beaten up by the Russians in the past seven games, Canada rallied and tied the game with 7 minutes left. We literally were on the edge of our seats in that small classroom. Henderson took a pass from Phil Esposito and slid the puck past a sprawling Vladislav Tretiak to win the game and the series 4-3-1. Supremacy, at least of the hockey variety, was epically snatched from the Russians and placed safely back in the hockey rinks of Canada. I’m not sure the nation has ever been more united than on that day.

4. Mediums & Messages

That Marshal McLuhan moment in 1991. I arrived in Winnipeg, settled into my hotel room, and habitually turned on the television. Desert Storm had just started, and I sat rapt on the end of the bed all through the night watching CNN as Bernard Shaw, Peter Arnett, and John Holliman broadcast live from the al-Rashid hotel in Baghdad. For the first time in history, the world watched a war begin in live-time and the news as we had known it up to that day was epically changed forever.

5. Redemption

That moment when you appreciate the meaning behind words. John Newton was a naval deserter, slave trader, atheist, and was considered to be a very angry and evil man. He survived a massive storm at sea in 1748 that ultimately radically changed his life; he found his faith in God and Christ, becoming an ordained pastor in 1764. Reflecting on that dramatic event in his life, he penned the epic words to “Amazing Grace”, along with 280 other hymns. Amazing Grace that I am indeed thankful for.

Here’s to a week of recognizing, living, and celebrating epic moments, large or small, in our lives.

© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T. You can reach Paul by email at dpg@imagegraham.com