Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Freedom of Expression

I've been carrying this one around for about a week now, and it's time to type it out and get it out of my head. Let me explain:

I recently changed departments at my day job. Part of the move involved going through boxes of stuff that had been accumulating for 13 years, and throwing away a lot of it. In one box, I came across a steno pad. Well, I've owned a lot of steno pads, but this one was different -- the printed lettering on the cover was in Greek characters. That could mean only one thing -- it had to be a pad I bought 5 years ago during my month in Greece (a lot of you know about my month in Greece; for the rest of you, it was an amazing adventure of traveling, rehearsing, performing, and sight-seeing). I opened the pad, and found that most of the pages were blank. One of the few things in it was some sort of poem that I have only the slightest recollection of having written. So why have I been carrying this around for a week? Well, for one thing, the poem does not appear to have been finished; it ends rather abruptly. For another thing, it's a rather inelegant bit of writing. But I still want to put this into my journal, because for me, it does have a few virtues. One is that, warts and all, it's an honest attempt to capture a remarkable time in my life as it was happening. The other reason is that, well, this is MY journal, my place to lay out the pieces of my puzzle, and this is a valid piece:

I am torn in two directions: belief and disbelief
And I am still not certain which of these I should prefer
In believing, there is beauty with a piercing clarity
And I can never doubt that I am absolutely here
The olive trees upon the path, the salt upon my tongue
The miracles up on the hill, the knowing of new friends
But this must also coexist with quiet disbelief
The presence here on Spetses of a gawky city boy
Whose dreams have often traveled far, much further than himself
And now I see his feet upon the path of Sophocles
Euripides, Menander, and the hazy form of Plautus
Enveloped by a culture not his own but part of him

--and the verse ends there. Thanks for coming along!

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