|"Mystic River (CT, I-95 and River Road)". oil,|
by Roxanne Steed
Like most of us, I have surrounded myself with "things" as the years have passed -- shirts, socks, sweaters, flashy laptops, iPads, poems, paragraphs, cars, houses, friends -- but I now know for sure, in my 71st year, that the thoughts that have visited me are vastly more valuable than the things. All the things that have come and gone, usually with suddenness, were almost as short-lived as transient winds, but the thoughts, especially the magnificent ones, have stayed by my side with trusty steadiness. The good thoughts that have been bestowed on me like unforeseen gifts give me powers that no thing -- no computer, no car, no holiday in Hawaii -- could ever give. The simple thought of friendliness, for instance, makes me more powerful than the forces of the Mystic River, for friendliness flows wherever it wishes and won't be defeated by any "thing". Even the supposedly most significant thing, my body, cannot create a lack of friendliness in me, no matter how sick and sore it might become. Even if I die a drawn-out death, I will still have the strength of friendliness streaming out from me with its full effectiveness. And what about the thought of gentleness? What thing, no matter how sinister it might seem, can generate even a suggestion of opposition to the everlasting strength of gentleness? Can a hurricane make gentleness be less gentle, less able to bring consolation and comfort to the fearful? Cannot the thought of irrepressible gentleness gently gain mastery over even the most menacing circumstances, even the most terrifying "thing"?