There are so many lives we do not,
cannot understand, despite trying.
We read stories, see movies,
which give us hints,
which move us, make us think,
perhaps, others more like us than we know.
Truly, these characters are but vague shadows,
at this remove, of who they are,
their feelings, their trials, their joys,
triumphs, and their failures.
Yet. Stories. Are. Universal.
Think bankers, soldiers, bakers, ranchers,
heroes, villains, guardians, male and female.
crime lords to hopeless wrecks, everyone.
It is the stories told, but
only partially, stories of people,
how they struggle, full of hope and fear,
of love found and love lost.
It’s friendships, vengeance, understanding,
betrayal and unexpected loyalty.
I, sometime, writer of stories,
verse, essays, philosophical musings,
try to comprehend more than
my life has shown me, so far.
Or, more than I have seen,
looking into the distance, but missing
the gaping hole in the road, my path,
which trips me, sends me down.
Watching closely, the trail before me
and missing all the wonder.
Years ago, I taught people to drive,
professionally, and, in a film I showed,
a man named Sig Smith said,
“Aim high in steering.”
Look not to the starry heavens,
but to the horizon in the distance.
Check your speed, blind spots, what’s behind you.
Catch the eye of any you intersect on the road,
which sounds like good advice for living.
Do we know where we are going,
Individually (few of us do), collectively?
We might know where we wish to be,
though not our destination.
If we do not comprehend who we are,
where we are going and why,
how can we expect to understand
any other life, without input?
But stories we tell, sit rapt before,
allow us to aim high, lead to clues, epiphanies.
We answer questions we did not know
we had, and ask questions, to which
we did not know we sought answers.
Confused, enlightened, challenged,
we talk to other people, friends,|
family, in groups, forums, one-on-one,
learning what we did not know
and teaching what we did not know we knew.
So, fictional characters, even vague shadows,
allow us to make eye contact
with people, like us and not, old, young,
foreign, domestic, gay straight and in between.
They help us to know our own truth.
As we begin to decipher our story,
if only partially, our dreams
and our circumstances, our hopes.
we start to find the questions,
and the answers, which lead to dialog.
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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