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20 Quotes of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
  • “The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”
  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  • “If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
  • “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
  • “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
  • “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
  • “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
  • “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
  • “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
  • “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
  • “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”
  • “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
  • “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

I try

I try to answer the question of purpose, of meaning, of what significance my life is

I’m grasping for answers

 

Life isn’t found in a summation, but in the right question.

A person’s own self-exploration is the answer to life.

 

O’ Oracle of Delphi, you’ve given us the answer in a riddle:

Know thyself

 

It is not where you are –

it’s the direction you’re heading in

 

It is not the destination –

it’s the journey

 

It is not the conclusions –

it’s the honest attempt of explanation

 

Seek and ye will find

The search is your salvation

 

– Chris George 

2005 

Contemplating a Glass of Life

Do you stare at the rim of the glass, and strain to see if there are any smudged fingerprints or lip marks?  Or does your gaze settle on the rich redness of the grape and your mind wonders, as you count your blessings?

I was told that middle age brings a new level of self-awareness. Yet, my middle age has delivered more questions and an uneasy feeling on what my responsibilities are to those around me and to those I’ll never meet.

Are there absolute morals — absolute rights and wrongs?  In our world of constant conflict, can we distinguish immorality anymore or are we living in an amoral world? Do any actions have consequences?

Reflecting on these matters leaves me feeling psychologically violated. I’m left disoriented, unsettled, disheveled, and wary. Like a snake shedding its skin, I rip away layers of pretense to expose ugly realities and my own unfulfilled promise. I arrive at more questions about myself and the world I live in.

At 42, I’ve learned that life is too short to have regrets and second thoughts. Much of the time I choose to live ‘the here and now.’ When troubled, I’ll refocus on the good and on my blessings. Yet, I am uneasy knowing I am but a voyeur to the larger world and its absurdities.  I believe more than ever in thinking globally and acting locally. It’s time that I act on my thoughts.

So, I ponder if the glass is half full or half empty..

 

Chris George 

From the collection entitled “At 42” 

June 2004

 

 

The smell of a newborn

The smell of a newborn causes you to pause

There are no insurmountable issues,

no unspeakable worries,

when one catches the hint of

the odour of innocence

a damp, wet, powdery smell…

 

With it comes a joy and wonderment and

thankfulness for dreams and prayers answered

There is a lightened sense of the present, like knowing

the world can stop spinning and our souls will rest

with a sheer contentment for this all too brief moment

when we’re privileged to hold a sleeping newborn to our chest

 

– Chris George

2004

The fiddler’s smile

fiddle_01 - Copy

I can’t seem to shake loose this stupid grin
As I watch my son lean into the mic to project the opening notes
he cocks his head to the side and lets his fiddle sing
a series of double strings, then his fingers run up and down the fiddle’s neck
and then a clear high siren, before he brings the reel home with a cascade of sounds

A young girl is up and dances in front of him
shuffling back and forth and keeping rhythm by
running her hands through her locks
Others stand, smiling, tapping their toes, clapping
And the bow dips and dives, the music seems to
carry all of us off to another, livelier place

There’s a faint smile and glint in the fiddler’s eye
Though he’s never travelled the road to Errogie
he’s brought the Scotland highlands to this hall, this night
We are there, transported with him, delighted with each draw of his bow

The right foot stamps as he gazes off somewhere between his notes
and then his eyes catch mine and he raises his eyebrows,
nods his head towards me, then flashes that fiddler’s smile,
small gestures that lift and carry me away with him and his tune

 

– Chris George

 

(ed. – This is a newly released poem found in a compilation of verse just released under the title of MIDSTEP – A dozen poems towards where I want to be. To get your copy of Midstep, contact chrisg.george@gmail.com.) 

walking-349991_640

MIDSTEP – A dozen poems towards where I want to be

To Lisa

Let’s make that promise to go hand-in-hand down this road

 

roads that lead into horizons

dirt, loose gravel laying the way

straight into unknowns before us

and we are running (at times,

bent over with laughter)

anxious to move along our path

kicking at the stones to make a mark

 

deep breaths of the warm air

fill our lungs – we are content

hand-in-hand, a pull and playful tug

eyes fixed on the point ahead

where the road becomes grayish-green

and disappears into the clouds

— just like our days,

always unfolding…

we run, kick stones, and laugh

for we recognize we are together

 

companions in life’s journey

 

– Chris George

2004 

The starry nights over Lanark

It’s the big, clear Lanark skies that provide the canopy of a million stars each night

a comforting blanket offering up the knowledge that there’s infinitely more

in this universe then our daily preoccupations

 

All is quieted under the twinkling lights – absorbed in the space between here and there

and that steely silence carries me beyond where I stand now to who I want to be.

 

It seems too perfect. I can’t remain still and transfixed in this serenity

 

So I pull back from the numbing expanse and stumble forward into my darkness,

with thoughts of my next day and the challenge of becoming that new man

and filling my world with the warmth and the light of just one unfathomable star.

 

(ed. – This poem was written in Spring 2013, since our family’s move to Almonte. It is one poem in a compilation of verse just released under the title of Midstep – A dozen poems towards where I want to be. To get your copy of Midstep, contact chrisg.george@gmail.com.) 

walking-349991_640

MIDSTEP – A dozen poems towards where I want to be

Draining emotions

You cannot step into the same river twice.
Yet we’ll harbour a hope with each reunion
That there’ll be familiar feelings to wash over us

Our greetings always elicit a warm embrace
Smiles that drain away all time and distance
And then we plunge headfirst into our stories

Yet we wonder in our heart, wander in our mind
Just how much water has flown pass us? and
how far have our affections been pulled under?

How is it that our talk is so hesitant and dry?
We remain safely splashing about in the shallows,
ever reluctant to dive and lose ourselves to the current

We stay planted, careful not to slip or stumble and fall
in the flood of memories that are gushing against our senses
and threatening to sweep us away, downriver somewhere…

And I note that it is none too soon that we step to shore
and climb out from that river bed that once was – and now
I stand, dripping and chilled, so glad to watch you leave.

 

– Chris George
   June 2014

 

 

10 actions that will change the way you look at life

These ten actions will change the way you look at life – and, in doing so, will change your life for the better. Commit to them and find a deeper satisfaction in what you do and a greater happiness within.  There’s no magic here, just a lot of common sense that we’ve likely all heard from our grandparents…

  1. No matter how you feel, “get up, dress up and show up.”
  2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Give yourself some slack where needed.
  3. Smile and laugh more. Go ahead and enjoy the moment.
  4. Act on one random-act-of-kindness each day.
  5. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  6. Take a 30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
  7. Drink plenty of water. For every cup of coffee / pop, drink a cup of water
  8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. And eat more food that is close to its natural state, and less processed or manufactured.
  9. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  10. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Early to bed and early to rise…

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Happy New Year

Like a reluctant host, I open the door for the New Year

Uneasy and unwilling to suffer more of the same

 

This year, again, there is so much to close our eyes to:

there is too much ugliness in our post 9/11 world

There are too many questions that need to go unanswered, to be ignored

It seems too much insipid reality that hurls cruelty, hatred, sickness and despair

 

What horror

The eyes of truth have been gouged from its sockets

–and hopelessly lost with the crumbling of two towers

Erect in our memories,

yet no longer enduring monuments of humanity

 

Tonight, with the door pushed opened,

I am left to pray for a new order:

May love blanket our loved ones, our friends and community

and cover us with hope, faith and love,

and the strength to do right, to recognize good and act for

a better, just, and, at the core, compassionate world

 

And I must begin living with these ghosts and refrain from

pulling myself tight into the fetal position

for comfort and some relief

 

I must stand and repress heaving sighs of despair

Look to those things I hold dear and ensure

They are cared for and do not go neglected

In the long shadows cast by those remarkable towers

 

– Chris George 

January 2002 

It occurs to me…

It occurs to me that if I had an original thought in the middle of nowhere
there’d be nobody to hear me out; nobody to confirm
that the idea is remarkable – that my thought is genius

which is why I’m here staring blankly at my keyboard
and not enjoying myself, perhaps paddling my canoe across a lake
I need to capture that original idea; wrestle it down; get it on paper
and then hold it up above my head and parade it around for all to see

I turn the light out and sit in the pre-dawn darkness listening to my breath
close my eyes and watch white, ghostly figures dance across the underside of my eyelids;
wash all thoughts away from my mind and concentrate on the creeping silence
and I imagine I’m out on the water, taking long J strokes to keep the canoe straight
there’s mist and dark evergreens and a distance shoreline, reed beds and a crane

so, sitting alone, in the dark, fingers cramped, poised, airborne overtop of my keyboard
I glare at the motionless bird, and all its promise, hoping in some way to connect
to what lays before me and the shoreline and the breeze and sunlight above the pines;
to those primal feelings that cause us to wince, itch and mumble aloud to ourselves
and, in this way, I might be able to gain some perspective, and strike a new thought

 

Chris George

Chris George has released “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was”, a compilation of 10 poems compiled through last year’s summer months. The verses capture the expectations raised in moving into a new community and making a new start. They also include personal reflections of a writer’s challenges to begin again, afresh. If you are interested in receiving “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was” – write chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.

Forward Thinking?!

inching forward? not certain
(never mistake action for progress)
moving, however; still alive
like an amoeba housed in a Petri dish
aimlessly floating across a sea of time
really signifying nothing but the fact
that      I      move      inches
onward

 

Chris George

Happy Birthday Sir John A. Macdonald

Happy birthday to the Father of Confederation, our country’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

Take a look at the By George Journal archive of posts on this storied man.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Remembering John Crosbie, his wit and insights

  • In 1979 when the Joe Clark government fell on a non-confidence vote on respecting the budget, less than nine months in office: “Long enough to conceive, just not long enough to deliver.”
  • On Question Period: “The usual lot of noise not signifying very much.”
  • “Mr. Speaker, I am glad the honourable gentleman finally got around to asking me about this question, because if you want an answer, you have to go to the horse’s mouth…. In this case, Mr. Speaker, the other end of the horse asked the question.”
  • “In fact, Mr. Speaker, they are not interested in the answers at all. They are howling and bawling like a bunch of banshees.”
  • “Mr. Speaker, the longer this House continues, the more I become in favour of capital punishment.”
  • “I refused to act as though I’d been weaned on a pickle.”
  • “The media, however, wouldn’t make the effort to listen to what I was saying or understand what I was doing. Instead, they stereotyped me as a buffoon, an entertainer, a jokester who was incapable of taking serious matters seriously.”
  • “[It’s not correct to describe me as a] loose cannon because I refused to pussyfoot around issues and only say safe, predictable things.”
  • “No one took things in politics personally if they wanted to be successful.”
  • “With a Polish pope and a Newfoundland finance minister, you mainlanders had better watch your jokes.”
  • “I would sooner have a foot in my mouth than a forked tongue.”
  • “I’ve spoken too long, I’ve said too much, I’ve been too frank, and I don’t give a damn.”
  • On politics: “People are ambitious and so you know this is always a big risk, right? It’s not namby-pamby.”
  • “I represented several parties. I never had any hesitation to change parties. All parties have got something to be said for them and if I got fed up with one party and pissed off with whatever they were doing, I was always quite willing to go with another party, and I didn’t suffer any bad feelings of conscience or anything as a result. I think politics is probably the most difficult profession one can get oneself involved with, but for me, I’ve had no regrets.”
  • The celebrated June 1985 House of Commons exchange with MP Sheila Copps: “Just quiet down, baby,” to which Copps responded: “I’m not his baby, and I’m nobody’s baby.”
  • Further to this exchange, he quoted lyrics of a Bobby Bare song at a B.C. fundraising dinner: “Pass the tequila, Sheila, and lay down and love me again.”
  • Regarding John Turner’s 1984 election campaign gaffe when was caught on TV cameras slapping Liberal MP’s Iona Campagnolo’s backside: “The Hon. leader of the Opposition knows all about butts. He has had his hands on more butts than there are members of this House.”
  • Responding to the Liberal Opposition: “What is their alternative? Not once have we heard an alternative from the ragtag, tatterdemalion remnants on the Liberal benches.”
  • On the Liberal MPs known as the Rat Pack: “We have been awaiting with trepidation all week the charge of the rodent brigade.”
  • Responding to the NDP Opposition: “The honourable gentlemen in the NDP are members of the neurotic, demagogic and paranoid party. They are the party of professional whiners, they are the professional groaners, they are the professional moaners, they are the down-at-the-mouthers … not offering any solutions, but just making the welkin ring with their complaining.”
  • Describing NDP MP Dawn Black: “[One of the} four horsewomen of the apocalypse.”
  • On the NDP: “The NDP does provide an alternative. It provides Canadians with the alternative of committing suicide, of committing hara-kiri, the alternative of all of us getting together and marching off the wharf like a group of lemmings.”
  • On July 2, 1992 at a protest against shutting down the northern cod fishery: “Why are you yelling at me? I didn’t take the fish from the God damn water.”
  • Questioned about his inability to speak French: “I cannot talk to the Chinese people in their own language either.”
  • Referring to Trudeau’s bilingualism: “It is better to be honest and sincere in one language than a twister, a trickster and a twit in two.”
  • “The best Prime Minister that we’ve had since ’49? It would be difficult to pick one because we’ve had some very fine men, though Brian Mulroney would probably be my favourite politician. He’s the one I got along best with. I enjoyed being involved in his cabinet. It was a congenial atmosphere because you could always express your opinion and if you had a different opinion than his and you disagreed with him in cabinet or expressed a different opinion, it didn’t cause any difficulty with him. He accepted the fact that you had the right to your own opinion and he welcomed you to express your opinion, so my favourite prime minister during my years in politics was Mulroney. I give him high marks for being a good PM for Canada, and for Newfoundland.”
  • On PM Kim Campbell and the 1993 election defeat: “The world knows who’s responsible. It’s the leader and those immediately around her who advised during the course of the election campaign. They must bear the burden of responsibility.”
  • On Canada-US Trade during his 1983 PC leadership bid: “Someday we’re going to have a North American continent that’s an economic union. That’s inevitable. These economic forces are there, and government policy can’t stop them. It’s only a question of, How do you get into a more secure position? They’re next door and geography dictates. Like it or not, we’re going up or down with the US.”
  • “Americans were far more popular in Newfoundland than Canadians, so I was never hung up about the United States. There’s always seemed to be a hang up with the Toronto cultural literati about the US. But that’s never been the feeling in Newfoundland and Atlantic Canada.”
  • “The secret to every success for every man is a good woman.”
  • Referring to Jane, his wife of 65 years: “This here is the secret to my success, if I had any.”
  • “How important is having a strong family when you’re in politics? It’s very important. Any man involved, or any woman involved for that matter, needs the willing support of husband or wife. I always said that in my political career my family were always a tremendous help to me. Without their help I couldn’t have accomplished much. If I accomplished anything it was because I had support. You’ve got to have a willing wife and a family that’s supportive if you are going to be a success at anything.”
  • “My proudest thing would be that I survived through it all, that I managed to get elected and re-elected in various positions despite what attitude I was taking. That was a major accomplishment. I’d like to be remembered for being a person unafraid to express his opinion about public issues, either publicly or in cabinet. I’ve always expressed my opinion.”

 

R.I.P. John Crosbie

 

 

 

 

 

[With special acknowledgement to interviews published in 2018 in The Newfoundland Herald. Links: https://nfldherald.com/john-crosbie-no-regrets-pt-1-of-2/ and https://nfldherald.com/john-crosbie-no-regrets-part-ii/ ]

Photo credits: Toronto Public Library / Toronto Star License & Wikimedia Commons 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

untitled

it can all be summed up by something entitled: untitled
that’s it – so far

there’s been too many blank pages, empty words and wasted days
discouraging but for that inside voice that commands me to:
start where you are. use what you have. do what you can.

 

Chris George

Chris George has released “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was”, a compilation of 10 poems written through last year’s summer months. The verses capture the expectations raised in moving into a new community and making a new start. They also include personal reflections of a writer’s challenges to begin again, afresh. If you are interested in receiving “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was” – write chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.

10 Favourite Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

January 11th (Saturday) marks the birth date of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and a Father of Confederation. Here are 10 of By George’s favourite quotes.

  • Politics is a game requiring great coolness and an utter abnegation of prejudice and personal feeling.
  • There were, unfortunately, no great principles on which parties were divided – politics became a mere struggle for office.
  • Anybody may support me when I am right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong.
  • There may be obstructions, local differences may intervene, but it matters not — the wheel is now revolving, and we are only the fly on the wheel, we cannot delay it. The union of the colonies of British America under one sovereign is a fixed fact.
  • I don’t care for office for the sake of money, but for the sake of power, and for the sake of carrying out my own views of what is best for the country.
  • When fortune empties her chamber pot on your head, smile and say, ‘We are going to have a summer shower.’
  • If you would know the depth of meanness of human nature, you have got to be a Prime Minister running a general election.
  •  [Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his love of drink. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in Parliament. Here is a story from an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out.]  The opposing candidate said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”
  • My sins of omission and commission I do not deny; but I trust that it may be said of me in the ultimate issue, ‘Much is forgiven because he loved much,’ for I have loved my country with a passionate love.
  • If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: ‘Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken.’

On Saturday, let’s all celebrate our country’s first Prime Minister’s birthday! Cheers to John A. Macdonald!

(Photo Credit:  National Archive)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A Knave

 

Another deal and I’ve lost count of how many times that Jack of Spades has been flipped;

to think that playing solitaire to beyond midnight might bring answers is sheer lunacy.

Better a set of Tarot cards or a Ouija board, or casting down bones out across the table,

for I am dazed watching the cards fall – that is until I see (again) that one-eyed knave –

regal, yet sinister, knowingly glaring into the future and all that can and will be.

 

There is a great quote by Vonnegut, “If you can do a half-ass job of anything,

you’re a one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind,” and, so it goes, according to K.V.

Here, overturned realities stare back at me, framed in yellow light and long shadows;

but one truth’s been ushered in with the ticking of the mantle clock:  we cannot foresee

the promises of dawn; we’re simply to shuffle, deal a hand, and play the cards or fold.

 

— Chris George

(Through the summer months I wrote 10 poems that are compiled under the title: Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was.  If you are interested in receiving this compilation, connect with me – chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.)

Looking to not drop the ball

It’s like deja vu all over again – as my life is turning out to be one big cliché.

I am continually trying to prove that you’re only as old as you feel.

And I don’t feel my age, yet the mirror on the wall tells a story or two…

I stare into bloodshot eyes, searching for the next challenge, because

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings

(and, heck, there aren’t any fat ladies in my life at the moment.)

Rolling sevens, with an ace in the hole, and guess where the horseshoe is?

I’m covering the bases, playing hard ball and looking to hit it out of the park.

I need to keep my eye on the ball and with the lemons given to me – make lemonade.

Yet, I’m neither clever nor profound; there’s no diamond in the rough.

I’ve come to believe we’re all human – that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee…

My hope is this cloud has a silver lining and today is but the calm before the storm.

I’m ready to answer the bell and not pull any punches; I’ll dance, shuffle,

I’ll whistle pass graveyards if need be; for what goes around will come around and

I’ve come to know all’s well that ends well; all live happily ever after – and I will too.

So, there’s hope. Fact is all that glitters is not gold and this game is too close to call.

In reading between the lines I see that the writing is on the wall;

it’s in this mirror, staring right back at me; if only

I could keep one straight thought and not slide sideways with yet another cliché.

 

Chris George

 

(Through the summer months I wrote 10 poems that are compiled under the title: Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was.  If you are interested in receiving this compilation, connect with me – chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.)

Onward

Age 50 is a milestone; another of life’s markers along the way.

At this time, I find myself at the side of a road, taking the time to pause and reflect

and I glance neither back at the asphalt traveled, nor ahead where this trail leads.

But I’m wholly distracted by ants, darting every which way over the stones –

sheer determination, seemingly inexhaustible energy; some unfathomable purpose.

One ant labours hauling a carcass of some larger bug; it’s his Sisyphean rock!

Along side, and then up over successive stones, the ant pushes onward.

Passing milestones will mark time and distance,

not achievement and progress; not energy and purpose;

and peering forward and back like some stupefied Janus

provides no true measurement of self; only details without essence.

I stare and blink, then forcibly hold my eyes shut

turning thoughts over in my mind – here and now – roadside with ants

I’m struggling to focus beyond the kaleidoscope of past memories

of my youth and the paths chosen:

vivid, colourful images, yet distorted, all moving sideways, front to back

Bewildering time shifts; far more fiction than reality

For there’s no comfort in re-treading forgotten pathways

Nothing but empty feelings; not regrets, but a gnawing, pit-of-the-stomach ache

and a realization: half-baked, stale memories are indigestible.

Self-consciously, I look down at my leg, and at the dirt beneath it,

and at the shadow the leg casts in the dirt.

I trace along the ground, where the darkness meets light;

my knee, shin, ankle – noting my shadow is much larger…

I’m not sitting here alone. There’s more than my bones and skin.

I hold the thought that I’m here with all those who have met me

My friends and family; lasting unions, even fleeting connections;

all who I’ve known are ever-present in that elongated shadow –

providing me not with a specific location, but a measure of something more:

a wondrous shade to be comforted within – here and now – roadside with ants

I fixate on the horizon – needing to discern some landmark that can place me

and, perhaps, place this road and the direction I’m heading.

Wisps of distant clouds and a light breeze against my face bring sweeping realizations:

I gaze far ahead, appreciating now, that details are for the young.

Perspective is only found in big sky and where that thin line marks our earth.

On every road there are bumps, turns and many long bends;

yet, be confident about your direction, determined in your stride,

and trust in the horizon line before you.

Passing milestones will mark time and distance,

not achievement and progress; not energy and purpose;

take to the road, aware of the shadow your presence casts,

and trusting you’ll arrive one day at your spot on the horizon.

The ants continue their tasks, unconcerned that I’ve stood

casting a long shadow, out onto the asphalt.

Time to pick up my feet and push onward,

lock-stepped with my loved ones.

Time to dance with my accompanying shadow

pass those milestones that lie ahead.

 

Chris George

June 2012