The Way of the World


I got a special gift today, a gift that touched my soul in many ways. That made me think that there’s always a gift behind a gift, it only takes to see what you are given not with your eyes but with your heart. The poem he gave me carries more than meaningful words; it is filled with love and understanding, and with his never-ending capacity of reaching my soul and driving away my sadness and my uncertainty. Some days ago, I wrote something about my inability to decide which path I should take to go on with my life, he read it and he knew he had something to share with me.The gift started not with the poem itself but with him looking for it inside many boxes he had kept closed for some time. It continued with him spending time on typing it, and finished with the invaluable act of sharing a piece of his heart with me, just a friend.He wrote this poem long time ago for one of the most important people in his life….now those words are with me and I’ll treasure them forever. Can you see the gift behind the gift? Thank you so much Stewart. I must have done something good in life to deserve as friend like you.

The Way of the World

Said the gate to the path:
“Do you go or do you stay?”
And the path replied:
“I think I must pass and move on,
For I am un-used, untrodden and lonely.
Please let me pass”.

Now the gate, though upright, proclaimed with humility:
“I have not the power to restrain you, nor to let you by,
Since I face two directions
And thus owe two allegiances”.

So the path asked:
“Can you not use the power of vision that is yours
To tell me about the other side, so that I might find
The way home?”

And now the gate answered:
“On the other side, you will encounter
What you already know; the life you have chosen,
That was chosen for you.
A path is a path. It runs and meanders where it must.
At times, it crosses other paths.
They merge, they part and on they travel,
Searching out their ways.
If there is an end, I know it not,
For I am only a simple gate, a passage for paths,
Without omniscience, or omnipotence”.

And the path, pensive, looked up at the gnarled old gate and, feeling humbled, murmured:
“But how do I cross, in order to run and meander
And merge and part?
For am I not a path, as other paths?
Or am I condemned to an eternal waiting at the gate,

At this, the gate uttered swiftly, though without urgency:
“Hush now. I hear footsteps approaching from yonder.
In the instant of your opportunity,
Will you have the wisdom to make the most
To choose?
Or the folly to miss all there is
By being ensnared in vacillation, lost
In futile questioning?

The life you have is yours alone to live.
To live it, you must
follow your own path”.

And with that, as the gate was pushed open .

(Stewart, to all those in search of certainties.
August 1991)


1 Comment

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One response to “The Way of the World

  1. Hi again. This feels like our personal blog and I am really grateful. However, it has brought…yes, more serendipities!!!!
    The first was to see TWOTW published here. It gavce me a real glow, because I saw that you had taken it in and reached its essence, that you saw why it was so important to send it to you. Worth the search, then.
    Next was the superb photo to illustrate it. Do you realise that for nearly 16 years, it has been just words on a page? Yes, I had a visual image behind my eyes, but notihng as beautfiully perfect as this one here. So it feels like a shared project, and I thank you for that.
    The 3rd seren’y was when I saw that impressive blogroll. I still couldn’t resist clicking on la casita de analia, so can you imagine my astonishment when it went there, opened and I was in, like Alice in Wonderland, after all that time, all those frogs?
    There is a reason that I am writing this here, instead of there. How can I put this? Well, it is because of the powerful messages from our friends, our truly magical friends. You know something, I really am a very humble person. For the first time ever in Blogland, I just felt too modest to appear there. It didn’t seem right. I will never be accustomed to people sayting things like that about me. So nothing I could write there could possibly be appropriate.I just wanted it known that I had been there, read the comments and – what good luck – there is this alternative. I could also have sent you a mail, sure. But I like it here!
    I gave it to you, not as a present really. It felt more important than that. A special message. Everything under heaven has its own right time and place and this was it for The Way. Now, I am happy, because as I wrote you & Ruth yesterday, I wanted to give it personalised and now I know that it is far better that you did exactly what I was wishing you would do, by publishing it, rather than me. It is yours, as I told you.
    But maybe the gate is now open for me to publish more of my writings…..I hope Stephen Bess makes a visit, because I like his writing and I’d like him to read it. And some of the other poetics too.
    I think I’ve have been very near the bottom of the hole this year. This past week has felt like a revival. Let’s hope it remains stable, despite the losses, the tsunami. And that reminds me: to finish, do you know of the Urugayan cartoonist, Alfredo? Specifically, his editorial cartoon “Tsunamis Silenciosos”, from 2005? It is to do with my current work for the annual World Press Cartoon event. Long comment, but hey!!!
    Sweet dreams to you and travel not too heavy! SXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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