A Line Runs Round The World – Part III

Note: This is the third part of a story circle that  Cameron Garriepy helped me start. Please check here for Part I and here for Part II. Alternative versions can be found on Cameron’s site.

As I made my way through the world, following the line, I saw many people. The young and old were stretched out before me and I could see them all. People of all colors passed by and created no more stir for me than the trees and the rocks. Of course I saw the lame and the ill, the rich and the poor, but their plight was their own and I took no stock with them. If any one of them had seen me, even glimpsed me from the corner of their eye, there would have been no recognition for I was no long with them. I was on my path and as different to they as the stars to the streams.

Sun over treesBut once, I stopped. I do not know why. As I stated before I had long since given up on noticing war and strife. Had ceased to even care about it or the self-induced famines and pestilence I passed. These were all man’s own doing, and I wanted no part of it. Had no part of it. But once, that once.

I was walking near mid-day in a valley of shade amidst leaves and oak when I saw a girl down by a creek. She was all alone and I could not remember how far back I had passed the last village or farm house. Although I was no expert on the area, I did not believe there were any roads or worn paths nearby. She was in my place – the quiet away from places, and her presence called out to me. To this day I don’t know why.

As I walked closer I could see that she was young and looking towards the water of the slow moving stream. Perhaps she was fishing I thought, or reading some book of romantic poetry away from the taunts of brothers and sisters. But even then, even still, I knew she was not. There was a stillness carried on the air as assuredly as the smoke and wind had carried the heat of battle. As markedly as the stench from cities carried far out into the virgin countryside.

I hastened my step to draw near her side. I knew there was no noise I could make, no sound I could utter that she would hear, no one noticed me any longer. But as I grew close, she lifted her head and stared at me with pale green eyes. I stopped. The feeling of no longer being in movement rushed over me and I grew light headed, but her eyes pulled me back down. She was pale skinned with long hair stringing down around her shoulders, but I could not lose sight of her eyes.
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Kicking The Bucket – Exercise #16

There are movies, there are books, there are websites, and there are all sorts of folks offering advice on the subject. But, when it comes to a bucket list each of ours is a personal thing. What we want to do and what we feel we need to accomplish before we shuffle off this mortal coil is different for each person. The exercise for today, from my great list of exercises to do, is “What is at the top of my bucket list.”

Swiss Cheese in a BucketI never thought so much about having a bucket list myself  I have things I’d like to do in life, places I’d like to go, and  people I want to meet, but I’ve never put them on a list of “things I have to do before I die or I am going to die.” I’m also very happy to say that a lot of the things I wanted to do in life I have already done. Not because I set out with some dogged determination that I had to accomplish something,  but because I just did. It’s kind of like the old Nike ad of “just do it”.

Two of the things that I had always wanted to do envolved traveling. The first was to go to Ireland, and the second was to visit England. Luckily my father got invited to speak at a conference at Trinity College in Dublin 1992 and amazingly he asked my sister and me if we wanted to go along. How could anyone turned down such an invitation? We spent a marvelous week in Dublin and some other southerly parts of Ireland enjoying the history, people, poking the Book of Kells (well not really, I poked the case) and generally exploring and having a good time.

Later, on our 15th anniversary, my wife and I got a chance to go to England. She had a relative living just outside of London who kindly offered us full use of their house. They were to be away in Rome that week! Again, too good a deal to pass up – and we didn’t. I don’t think anyone could hit all the high points of the London area to lifetime, but we did a good bit. And I also did something I really wanted to which was visit Abingdon, the home of the original MG factory. Also got to visit Warwick Castle, Bath, and catch Phantom of the Opera at the Queen’s Theatre.
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