Day 44 – Chalk Marks Before the Rain

January 22, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Today I read a letter from a longtime friend. We were both students at Frostburg in the 60’s and have kept in touch more or less over the years, both of our lives going in different directions. Technology has become a large part of my life, socially and creatively but computers are not in Peter’s life. He makes phone calls and writes letters, often reciting or sending his original poems.

His poetry is introspective and has the style and cadence of the Edgar Guest poems that I used to read in one of my grandmother’s books. Unlike most modern poetry, his style includes traditional end rhymes. This recent poem he sent to me talks about how there is no map in life that charts a course—that life consists of “breadcrumbs dropped in a snowstorm” and “chalk marks made before a rain.” These same thoughts also crossed my mind as I photographed my footprints in fresh snow. Those snow prints tell me where I have been but fail to show the way I should go. The future is fresh snow where no one has walked yet.

Maybe there is such a thing as metaphorical footprints which are made up of interactions with others. Perhaps these interpersonal relations are more than temporary breadcrumbs and chalk marks. Is it too much to hope that some residue of these interactions from the past and in the present might remain over time and point to where we should go?

My gift today is a poem.

> DAY 45 Groan Phonetics

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