Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where the ground crackles

I used to blog. Then I joined a movement that I suspected would find the blog and disapprove of its content. I deleted the site a year ago and stupidly forgot to save a soft copy of the posts. They exist now only as a stack of papers collecting dust atop my bookshelf.

As for the movement, it might have killed something small inside of me anyway. I suspect everyone feels like he loses a little bit of freedom at some point. Maybe I felt the loss of freedom because I was too busy trying to find it for others. Maybe I felt it because I saw how little some people have.

I worry that this effort will not turn out like the last. Last time I wrote about eating bird shot by my second post. My life is not as fast as it used to be, but it sure did change. Some changes were good. Some changes were bad. Some things stayed the same.

I think I can still write. I used to live in a writer's haven, but I don't anymore. I go back to visit often. It is a place of friends where the ground crackles beneath one's feet. Below is a passage sent to my friends upon their commencement to a new chapter of life, a chapter that must be different for everyone lucky enough to get there.

"Ah! sometimes from the straight white path
Our stumbling steps may stray;
And sometimes where the hillside slopes
We'll choose the easier way;
And sometimes when the path is rough
That takes us straight through life,
Our strength will fail, and craven-like,
We'll shun the bitter strife,
To choose the broad and paven road,
And eat the lotus leaf.

Yes, some will fail and take this road,
For grinding toil and grief
Are on the sterner road you point,
With hand in hand their mate,
Good Manhood, walking true and brave
Along the path that's straight.
Yes, some will falter on this road
And choose the broader way,
But when again the soft nights come
And Spring has come to stay,
They'll think perhaps of this last night -
The Campus white and still,
The dorms, the well, the old South bell -
Of all that's on the "Hill",
And then they'll leave the broader path
That leads to life's ill wrack,
To seek again the narrow one and -
Finding it - come back.

To some will fall the ivy wreath
That marks the place of fame,
While some will plod along beneath
The peaks of greatest name;
The years will pass and very faint
Will be your call to these,
For time is scornful of the past
And ever onward flees.
But sometimes when the Springtime comes,
And the sifting moonlight falls -
They'll think again of this night here
And of these old brown walls,
Of white old well, and of old South
With bell's deep booming tone,
They'll think again of Chapel Hill and -
Thinking - come back home."

~Thomas Wolfe '20

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