This Time It's Saturday with Shel
My son can't get enough of "Where the Sidewalk Ends," by Shel Silverstein. We read from it daily and one poem is never enough. I happened upon this one tonight and I feel compelled to share it. It is so complex in its simplicity; it has so many facets to it in so few words; It could mean one thing to you and another to me - and we'd both be right. That's what's so great about poetry and literature. The interpretation is up to you.
And while I watch news footage of "Black Friday" where people run (over one another) to buy televisions and video game systems, grabbing and pushing their fellow human beings as if being chased by a horrible monster (maybe they are? That one called consumerism?) that will tear them from limb from limb if they don't get out of it's path - It just makes me sad.
It makes me long for the days of childhood when I didn't know what was going on; when I knew Santa's elves were making a few toys for me so that Santa could place them under my Christmas tree; when I thought that everyone looked forward to Christmas because it meant time off from school and candy canes and sugar cookies with green and red sprinkles and ribbons and bows and brightly decorated paper - and not stress and lines longer than those found at Disney World and anger upon seeing someone else grab the last "must have" commodity of the season.
This poem makes me think of that, and so many other things that are wrong with the world right now. And yet, the last stanza gives me hope, too. The hope that is the central theme of this time of year; the hope that does not scream in your ear or beat you over the head until you get it. It's a quiet whisper in your heart that blesses you with the belief in possibility - that maybe 2007 will be different; that maybe you, and the people around you, can make a positive contribution that will change the lives of others; that maybe you can stop talking and start making a fundamental change in your own life - that maybe the world's priorities will begin to shift and people will matter more than money or power.
Then again, you may read something completely different :)
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS
There is a place where the sidewalks ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.