I am not good at mourning.
I suck all the emotions in and soldier on only to have that pain escape at (usually inopportune) moments.
When the writer Charles Bowden died I was devastated.
He was more than a brilliant wordsmith to me, he was a role model for what it meant to be a journalist and a citizen.
He spent the last twenty five years or so putting himself in harms way to find the truth and then he told us the truth, even when we didn’t want to hear it.
He cared little about fame or money, he had far more of the former than the latter when he died and in reality he had little of either.
In a world run by public relations consultants, politically correct liars, and corrupt leaders, he told the truths they covered.
There were similarities between his world and mine.
The main one was that we both reported on worlds where people naturally assumed that their leaders and the systems they worked in could be trusted…that the responsibility of being a steward of something far bigger than themselves overrode the desire for personal gain in the end.
We both knew that wasn’t true.
We both knew that telling the truth made enemies, but they were enemies even if you joined in the lies.
He wrote a lot about Mexico, but Mexico was only a pallet to paint a picture of our common darkness with.
I never had Bowdens prodigious writing gifts, but he made it clear that we all had the same responsibility to truth.
When he died it felt wrong…not just because a great man had left us, but because the great man had not finished his work.
He had left loose ends untied…that only he would risk tying.
Yesterday, we found that he had indeed finished his work.
Chuck Bowdens last story took fifteen years to write.
His last story…’Blood On The Corn”.
I don’t expect many to read this article or the links I’ve posted.
Most people prefer the facade to the reality, whether the false front be in church or government.
What’s important is that the truth be available and accessible to those who choose to see.
Bowden finished well.
May he rest in peace and may God grant that we finish our works as well.