A Toast from Aine

Through the years I’ve become used to being in a room full of lawyers, and even a room full of doctors, but this is a first: a room full of writers. And I’m supposed to stand up and be eloquent?!... gulp!

There’s so much I could say about Jason. Having enjoyed a front row seat for all of these contests, I can tell you about the ungodly amount of work he puts into this. But you all know that already….

I could talk about how extraordinary he is. About how my honed intuition saw the diamond in the rough when we first met. When I recognized how rare his brain is. That he not only remembers and integrates every bit of data that enters his head, but that all of that knowledge is so quickly accessible. (I can’t remember what I did last week, let alone pull the calvin cycle from my memory and use it to improve my gardening-- Jason does stuff like that every day!) He’s not left-brained or right-brained-- he uses both sides equally! That means that Jason is a guy who can use logic with cool-headed precision, program computers and understand what calculus really is, AND use color with natural artistic sense, feel music viscerally, and evoke emotion with carefully placed words.

The best part?-- he has no idea of just how extraordinary he is!! (Yes girls, my momma didn’t raise no dummy-- I knew what a rare specimen he is!)

I foresaw a future filled with achievement. He could become a builder of systems, a skilled diagnostician, or a creator of with words. Heck, I even thought he could be president some day (he has the ivy-league law degree-- that seems to be part of the job description, doesn’t it?). But for all that my love-struck eyes deemed him capable of, I never expected him to become a builder of community. And, wow… is he ever!

Jason-- you’ve always said that you hope to die knowing that you’ve achieved something of permanence. Allow me to put forth the following argument:

Art is…

something created

something to be experienced

something that is enjoyed

something that inspires

something that has the power to build a community

something that has the power to change lives

I propose that the Clarity of Night contests meet all of these criteria. Jason, you have created something of permanence. This contest, this community is a masterpiece of your creation.

So, here’s to your achievement! **raises glass**

And here’s to the joy and inspiration and life changes that flow from the Clarity of Night community! **clink**

I would also like to say a huge thank you to Steve, Laurel, and Aniket (and Cat?! Hi Cat!!) and everyone else who helped to organize this party. You all ROCK! (After all, appreciation is an art, too-- you guys are masters!)


Aniket said...

Hear *hic* hear!

Anonymous said...

Now look. It is totally uncool to make me tear up at work. What are people supposed to think of that??

Seriously Aine, that meant an incredible amount to me. You did find me in an, um, less than polished state, so you deserve huge credit for anything good that I've done or created.

I'm going to compose myself now. Someone is waiting to see me, but I forget who....

Love you!!

(And you say you're not eloquent. Good God. I seem to remember a certain young woman saying she can't bowl either, then proceeding to throw three strikes in a row and making the boys' mouths hang agape.)

Laurel said...

Awww. That was so sweet I need an insulin pump.

And something I know to be true without having met Jason in person. He's extraordinary in his writing. No one can span such a depth of moods in fiction without having a well rounded intellect.

The Beer Philosophers make me giggle, the Incubus/Succubus simultaneously horrifies me and curls my toes, and the ongoing sculptures with words amaze me. I love the way his words play on the page, using negative space instead of filling every line.

Nice pick, Aine! I always say your best bet is to buy while the stock is still low ;)

Precie said...

It's a treat to "see" you two together. You make a great team, and getting a glimpse of this side of you both makes the greatness of these contests that much clearer.

Catvibe said...

Hi Aine! :-)
I love how the clock is saying all these posts are happening at 11 + in the morning. LOL, blogger is a wee bit tipsy here.
Gotta say Aine, this was a beautiful tribute to this former diamond in the rough of yours. And *clink* here's to you Jason! Truly you have inspired a great circle of friendship, growth and camaraderie between writers, from newbies to stars.

Aine said...

Aniket~ sway with me... as we join Quint, Hooper, and Chief Brody at the table in the corner over there...
Ohhhh, Show me the way to go home (bum bum bum)
I'm tired and I want to go to bed (bum bum bum)
(faster now) I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head! (bam bam bam)

Jason~ :D I made you tear up?? (I'm speechless...)

Love you too!!

(LOL-- that bowling date will live in infamy!)

Laurel~ Yes-- the "real" Jason does come through in his writing and interactions. He's so gifted at expressing himself that you (and his other blog friends) can know that you really have "met" him.

And, good advice, though risky! :)

Precie~ Awww, thanks. Now, I'm going to need that insulin pump. (Hey, Laurel! Over here!) But I must correct you-- the contests are really Jason's show. Any greatness comes from his blood, sweat, and tears. I know I play a role in that I'm supportive, but really, it's a teeny tiny blink-and-you'll-miss-it role. Even so, I do appreciate your friendly glances!! I'd definitely miss you if you didn't show up for these things!

Cat~ Yeah, I noticed that earlier, too! It was driving me batty when I was trying to figure out who's still at the bar and who's just walking in.

Thanks and here's another *clink*-- may many others enjoy his sparkles (okay, now that's starting to sound Cullen-esque, er... not sure I want to go there. But then again, twilight is a treasured part of the clarity of night. LOL)

Aniket said...

Show you the way home? Now, why would you wanna go there? ;)

Well, if you insist, I've got a spare Firebolt, if you need a ride...

Precie said...

Aine--smooches! From a fellow wife and mother, I would bet that what you call support is a much more extensive sacrifice for your family, even if it's in service to a labor of love. I wouldn't say thank you for "letting" us borrow Jason during these monster contests because that's not really what I mean. But your contribution is far from slight. :) it's always good to see you too.