Wall friends

October 13, 2005

Just after 8 AM. My walk to the Peace Fire to replenish the eternal flame and shake out my bones to wake up sleepy muscles has been done. I now sit in one corner of the house in my favourite cushioned breakfast seat quietly munching toast. To my left are French doors that open to the wide outside, but my focus is not there just yet.

wall_friendsInside, directly across, over the top of the dining table, a dramatic shaft of light points to, highlights and entices my gaze to rest upon my “wall friends”, Melanie, Paulus and Palma. These and other friends outside of Tasmania take up residence here in the form of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and bowls.

“Good morning”, I say to them and my heart bounces up with the joy of knowing them and having their goodness in my life.

On one hand, they are sentries. They guard this house from the demons of loneliness that, if allowed, would come marching through, whenever. On the other hand, they are jovial sprites bouncing around the room dancing jigs of merriment.

Today, especially today, like little laughing Buddha’s, they make me smile.

So, to them and to all the other “house friends” hanging about, I want to share a William Stafford poem written as a dedication to a book of his poems:

Smoke Signals

There are people on a parallel way. We do not
see them often, or even think of them often,
but it is precious to us that they are sharing
the world. Something about how they have accepted
their lives, or how the sunlight happens to them,
helps us to hold the strange, enigmatic days
in line for our own living. It is important
that these people know this recognition, but
it is also important that no purpose or obligation
related to this be intruded into their lives.

This book intends to be for anyone, but especially
for those on that parallel way: here is a smoke
signal, unmistakable but unobtrusive—we are
following what comes, going through the world,
knowing each other, building our little fires.

William Stafford

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