Category Archives: In Action

The human chain of life

I had a dream, under a cloud be-speckled blue sky

that we all joined hands
with our nearby neighbors,
to the right and to the left,
whose opinions, possibly,
probably, almost certainly,
differ from our own.

Me with thee and thee with thou
until we reached the end of the lane,
the boundaries of the neighborhood,
the extent of the town, 
the limits of the principality, 
across the borders of countries,
over the oceans, lakes and rivers
until we encircled the world.

We formed a human chain 
spanning races, nations, cultures,
crossing opinion, without distinction 
... gradually, 
incrementally, 
hardly noticeably;
bridging every gap,
    grip by grip,
person by person.

No one concerned about
contaminating viruses 
sticky fingers 
or dirt under the fingernails.

So grateful were we 
for the touch of another human, 
we gave no thought to 
where the chain would lead,
how or where it would link up
with the other side
on the other side 
because there would be no other side.

Just the one continuous connection.
Incremental effort,
tugging us in 
each others' direction,
extended arms 
encircling Mother Earth.

She, who has the final word;
Her Pull is the gravitational hug that grounds me, 
as the strength of connection tugs me
toward you on my right and you on my left --
and you toward your neighbor,
whose hands you hold
for the sake of all life.

kicking and kicking but going nowhere?

I’ve never been much of a flutter-kicker. More of an arm-stroker. But when the masters swim workout calls for 100m freestyle kick, well, you kick. And it feels like an eternity to the other end.

Some people seem to have the gift of flutter-kicking, propelling themselves along like a speed boat powered by an outboard motor. Me? I’m more of a putterer. Not for want of effort, mind you. I’ll churn up a wake like nobody’s business and go NOWHERE!

Which is a bit embarrassing, especially if the people who share your lane are either piling up behind you or catching you up and tugging on your feet so they can pass.

Fortunately, today I had my very own lane. So when the workout called for a 100 meter kick, I aimed my kick-board dutifully toward the opposite end of the pool and set off with a mighty push from the wall. Momentum is underrated when you’ve an entire pool ahead of you and a kick like mine.

Now, I’d like to say that today I surprised myself with my torpedo-like speed, but I did not. No, I was much more like the Little Engine That Could. In fact, at times it was only the changing colors on the lane rope that convinced me I was moving at all.

Four navy, three black. Four navy, three black. Four, three. Four. Three.

Isn’t that how days feel sometimes? Like we’re kicking and kicking and going nowhere? Funny how something as simple as a friendly lane rope — which really is going nowhere — can reassure us that we’re actually making forward progress. And that, in the end, is all we really need to know.

….kick on, my friends. Before we know it, we’ll be there.

No structure, big problem

I’m a writer.

We operate in silence. in solitary. in fact, we like this. because as soon as someone interrupts us, we are done. Have to start ALL over again. from the beginning.

We are self starters. i mean, who is gonna start us? we, the people, who are here by ourselves.

Lonely? not us. we like it this way. usually. but it’s not as easy as it seems. have you noticed?

Creating a structure for yourself is a monumental effort. Not a soul in the house to tell you, “GET to WORK!” Nobody holding you accountable. No one demanding billable hours.

Just you. and the screen. or rather you and your thoughts before a screen.

So many have said, “you’re so lucky! You have no one telling you what to do!” no annoyance. no interruption. Pure, you-time. Well, now we all have you-time. Whatchu doing with your you-time?

I’m constantly looking for mine. Not kidding, it’s a 24 hour search.

And all that unstructured time you used to envy me for? all that time that I was free to spend however I wished?

Ah, now we’re all in this together. you and me and every we.

How’s that structure coming? now that we have to supply it. No structure, no problem?

No structure, big problem.

Ask a writer. we specialize in long, empty days that we fill with whatever comes. when it comes.

A lot has come.

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