On my way to the last day of sunday school today, there was an advertisement for the Rose Festival at Tom Mccall Park here in Portland.

And I was thinking about how I have absolutely no idea whatsoever who Tom Mccall was, other than he was important enough to have a waterfront park named after him.

And then, because I was feeling pensive, I thought about how monuments and streets and buildings might lose their meaning as the people who know a person it was named for, know their life, their essence, disappear.

And all is left is a name. That really has no meaning to most people.

Which makes me glad I write books and stories (although I suppose this applies to music and visual arts, as well) because in them survives some kind of personal essence.

Yes, I’d rather have a novel published than a waterfront park named after me.