Monday, November 11, 2013

Ripples to Bosnia

Yesterday, I went to a concert and a woman approached me in the lobby:

“Do you remember me? I took a workshop with you about 20 years ago. Called you and told you I was going to Bosnia the next day to work with war-ravaged children and asked if you had anything I could take over to them.”

“And what did I say?”

“That yes, you were reasonably sure you did. And so I came to the workshop.”

“And did I?”

“Yes, I used the ideas and material immediately and the children loved it. Thank you.”

“And thank you, both for the work and for telling me about it. One rarely knows what people take out of a workshop and where they take it and with whom.”

I’m not much of a poet, but I’ve always liked this little poem I wrote around my 60th birthday:

Pebble in a Pond

20 years old. Confident, cocky, sure that
that boulder I will heave into the mainstream
will make a big splash in the world.

Each decade, the stone
and the river
 got smaller.

At 60, that once-big splash a mere pebble
In a small pond.

But still it makes ripples, tiny rings
that circle outwards
and sometimes reach the shore
of someone’s life about to be changed.

And so yesterday I found out that many years ago, a little ripple reached some children in Bosnia and gave them a few moments of pleasure. Who would have guessed?

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