Saturday, May 23, 2015


Recently, the Emmy winning television show Justified aired its series finale.

The creators of the show chose, instead of gunfire or fanfare, to end with a quiet conversation between the two main characters engaging with each other through a glass partition in a prison visiting room.  

Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant, spoke to Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins. Two characters who grew up together in Harlan County, Kentucky and worked together in the coal mines in their youth. 

As often happens in life, choices were made and their paths diverged, one as a lawman and the other as the criminal he pursued. Over the years, the show focused often on their paths intersecting.

In the final moments of this complex and engaging series, the prisoner Crowder asked the Marshall Givens. who helped incarcerate him. why he came in person to convey news of a woman they had both loved when it would have been easier to just send word.

The answering exchange ended the series:

"Well I suppose if I allowed myself to be sentimental despite all that has occurred there is one thing I wander back to."
"We dug coal together."
"That's right."

Survivors are forever bound to the people who survived with them. No matter the traumas, crises, or changes which transpire after, there will always be a connection between them. A truth no one else with ever know or understand the weight of. Surviving is shared and that sharing can never be undone. When you walk into battle together, when one sits vigil at your side, you will remain connected no matter what happens after. 

We may have trouble voicing it. It may stay forever unspoken or acknowledged. It can never adequately be explained so that others will understand the complete depth of it. 

We, ourselves, may become quite different. Distance may occur, life may go on, people may grow, memories may fade, and paths may diverge; but, the seed which was planted together during your fight to survive grows deep roots, an unspoken anchor which can never be dug up.

It is part of our humanity, this connection to those who face life with us. In those last words of Justified, I have never seen so complex a truth put so simply. 

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