I came across this poem the other day, and it got me thinking.
The Way It Is
by William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
I know, I have known, that there is a thread I follow, and I have traced it back quite a ways. But the poem got me wondering where in my life the thread had originated. Then I saw a story about Elie Wiesel, who had gone to Cambodia to help survivors of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Someone there asked him why he had gone so far to help, especially since it was not a Jewish tragedy. He answered, when I desperately needed people to come, they did not. That is why I go to help. And that gave me the whole story of the thread I have followed since birth. Maybe I’ll write about it some day.
What is your thread?