Thursday, February 16, 2012

House By the Side of the Road

Heard this on Celebrity Ghost Stories once and it's a moving poem by Sam Walter Foss.  Related to my thoughts today:

THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;

There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,

In a fellowless firmament;

There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths

Where highways never ran-

But let me live by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

Where the race of men go by-

The men who are good and the men who are bad,

As good and as bad as I.

I would not sit in the scorner's seat

Nor hurl the cynic's ban-

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road

By the side of the highway of life,

The men who press with the ardor of hope,

The men who are faint with the strife,

But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,

Both parts of an infinite plan-

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,

And mountains of wearisome height;

That the road passes on through the long afternoon

And stretches away to the night.

And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice

And weep with the strangers that moan,

Nor live in my house by the side of the road

Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,

Where the race of men go by-

They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,

Wise, foolish - so am I.

Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,

Or hurl the cynic's ban?

Let me live in my house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man.

Sam Walter Foss


Over half way done now and exactly two weeks until I'm reunited with my sweetheart.  The awful, but typical winter weather has been contributing to my sadness and isolation but now I can see the light at the end of this long, strange journey we've been on for the last four years. 

The USS Deployed will be pulling into port for an extended maintenance period where we get to work on marriage, build our family life and repair what has been broken.

The last two months have been an emotional release for me.  No longer can I contain feelings which have been bottled up, bobbing along stormy seas for the last few years.  It's all coming to a crest and I think that's why this final separation has been so incredibly difficult for me.

Yesterday I just needed encouragement.  I needed to be acknowledged somehow.  As I've said before in this online journal, encouragement can come in very strange places.  After some time in prayer, I logged onto the Virginian Pilot and revisited a columnist by the name of Jacey Eckhart.  She is a great voice for mil spouses. 

I came across this column:

As usual, she hit it spot on.  She cleared away the foggy isolation window and gave me a moment of clarity.  In that moment, I acknowledged that our life is not normal.  And that it's hard.  It's really hard sometimes and it's okay to admit that.  It's okay to need help and encouragement.   While some people consider it weak to seek help through whatever sustains them be it faith or family, I see it as incredibly courageous, and I feel sorry for that person's misguided thinking.  Of course we know that we can find unbelievable strength deep within ourselves, but remember that movie About a Boy?  Remember that quote from the movie, "no man is an island." 

I just looked it up and it's a part of a passage by John Donne.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.  

I guess what I just want to put out there today... is to think about this from two perspectives.  If you are hurting, or going through something, don't be afraid to ask for help.  Remember help can come in many different forms and places.  And if you see a friend or family member, or an acquaintance struggling through a life issue, be there for them!  Treat them to coffee, have a conversation with them, recommend a book that got you through a hard time.  Just don't sit back and let them struggle.  Be part of something bigger than yourself.  In the end, we'll all be better people for it.