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Farrell Dyde
D  A  N  C  E    T  H  E  A  T  R  E

Yesterday Down The Road

I met a man
traveling down the road.
His smile was crooked.
His teeth yellowed by time
and too many cigarettes
smoked carelessly
and too close together.
His clothes were worn
and hung like rags
from his rail frame.
Yet, the sinew
of once strong muscles remained.
And his eyes still held
a gleam of humor
and the tenderness of many things seen
of many times
when cold winds had knocked against him,
almost putting him down for good.

But he, always having hope,
had risen
to receive another blow
a chuckle in his throat
a merry robust laugh
that said "You can't get the best of me yet."
But on this day
his eyes held a deep sadness
the sadness of all that he had lost
all that he had longed for
all the loves
and weary travels
that had come to nothing
even as his hope had soared.
But, he seemed resigned.
He seemed solid.
And as he opened his mouth
to speak to me
I realized he had no voice
He no longer had words
to express
the joy
the sadness
the longing.
For now, in his strong
yet battered state
all was one.
And there was nothing more to say.

I realized as I stood there
just looking at him
he with his hands in his pockets
me in my expensive three-piece suit
that somehow there was no difference
between us.
Yet he, for all his losses
had gained a measure of dignity
of sureness
of sweet strength
that I did not possess.
He seemed made of dust
a golden dust
the residue of a life fully lived
of energy spent well
of love having been given
at any cost.

Then, suddenly, his eyes seemed on fire
his whole body ablaze with some holy energy
that soon turned to pure white heat
and even more suddenly
he was gone.

My body trembled.
My hands shook.
And when it was over
and the road was empty
of his presence
I felt a glow within
as I had never known
an almost transcendent feeling
that I, too, was pure energy
energy of love
of hope
and of something more
than I could ever dare express.
I felt whole for the first time.

And somehow I knew that his spirit
had entered me
that he had given up his life
to me
and that now his wisdom
his vision
his great compassion
lived in me.
A great spirit
that dissolved all boundaries.

And I knew then that the life
I had been living
was mere folly
mere illusion
a child's life
in adult body.

And so I left the road.
I walked away
not knowing yet
where I was going
only knowing that my life
as it had been
would be no more
and that the journey ahead
while unsure
and still filled with pebbles,
rocks, and giant boulders
to be moved aside
would at last bring me to a quiet place
a resting place
a place where birds no longer sang.
Yet, in the silence
there would be more sweet music
than I had ever known.

And in that moment
as I walked away from the road
as I took off my jacket
and slung it almost casually
over my shoulder
I could feel a smile
growing on my face
a lightness in my step
and I cried out
I love you
I love you
I love you
and I was happy.

© Farrell Dyde



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