Monday, June 20, 2011

As a Child

(Just one of the many photos I've taken along the way ... I don't recall exactly where)

I wanted to be so many things, a doctor, a lawyer, a railroad engineer, a cowboy, a sailor ...

The list goes on and on. But what child doesn't dream?

Those early visions of imagined things to come ... they nurture, sustain the individual ... particularly one growing up in an era broadly known as "hard times."

But it was not to be ... not, at least, "rigging straining and creaking ... whistling winds." Mine was a landlocked life, far removed from any of those early dreams.

Such are the realities of adulthood.

I have no regrets about reality's falling short of the dream.

In fact, I might not have been a very good sailor. And I don't really feel it was failure ... this falling short of the early dream ... there are always things we might desire ... which remain tantalizingly just out of our reach.

But now I feel that perhaps I am at last realizing that early dream ... through my writing.

I can almost hear the rigging creaking this morning ... the sails billowing and popping ... feel the wind whipping my hair like seaweed ... all because I discovered this whole new world of writing.

There's a certain magic in that world ... but a tinge of reality, too. I notice that acceptance and publication of "As a Child" came almost four years ... and many revisions ... after it was originally written.

So, dream on, young writer ... or writer at any age ... but be patient, too ... and do keep reaching ... never quit reaching.

The poem:


I wanted to be
a sailor standing
on a slanting deck,
rigging straining,
sails billowing, wind
whipping my hair
like seaweed,
waters lifting me
toward God.

But it was not
to be: no massive
sails, no salt-soaked
rigging straining
and creaking, no
whistling winds,
just a sea of words
lifting me,
cradling me.
© 2000
(originally published in Capper's)

Today's word: reaching

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