Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Indecision, Indecision

Everything hangs in a balance.
At this stage of life, moments of indecision involve banality.  Should I re-fill the printer with paper?  New ink?  Should I mend clothing on the sewing machine?  And has been for years?  Should I buy new sponges, and what kind?

Banal and easily answered, they truly are.

But back when I was seventeen, life was rampant with indecision of all sorts and most readers understand, remember those hard, unsure decisions.

I was 17, a senior in Pittsfield High School.  My family had enough money to pay bills and support a family.  My father had promised that he had an account for me when I was 13 and it would have enough money, from which I would go to college.

Then, in eleventh grade, he and Mom sat me down to tell me the money had been used for other needs.  “If you want to go to college, you will have to find the money, get a scholarship…”  Mom looked down at her clenched hands, her face stony and rigid.

After a senior year of intense work to achieve and maintain a high GPA, this happened: I was asked to write the senior class poem for the graduating class of 1969.  I remember it still, now 45 years later, as I agonized over every word:

Indecision, Indecision,
Where is the rhythm of precision?
For those who lack the sight,
To make the cut
That ends the night?

We are Ixion on the wheel
Revolving in a world unreal,
Doomed to twist and turn and weave,
In an endless world of make-believe.

Oh, send to us a man of might
To save us from this plight!
With a strong arm,
To lift up us from our chair,
And return to us the need to care.

It is said a night has a thousand eyes
And the bright day has but one.
The darkness sends weeping, cries,
And the blind men suffer
None.


The College English teacher, Mr. Robb awarded me A, rare event and, one that I so desperately required to grasp the scholarship.

24 comments:

  1. That's awesome you got the scholarship!

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    1. I studied at a small college, kept a high GPA there, and kept the scholarship all the while. If I had not qualified for a scholarship, I do not know what I would have done. Remaining in such a rural existence was not an option.

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  2. Many times it is disappointment that is the catalyst for greatness. You did well!

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    1. Well said. A "catalyst for greatness".

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  3. Even seventeen year old's have it in them; amazing what force of will can squeeze out of us.

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    1. Some one told me that I was more stubborn than physically strong. It is amazing what stubbornness can achieve.

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  4. Sometimes it works out better to have to work for what you want as opposed to just being handed it. I think you appreciate your achievements more.

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    1. I totally agree with you. Getting an easy ride through school never leads to success later.

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  5. Awesome poem and big props for still remembering it!! I work with lots of teens in our youth group and it is staggering how many are grappling with huge life changing decisions. It's so hard to know what is best, when you are only 17. If only I knew then, what I know now, I would go back and change so many things!@!!

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    1. Oh, so would I! I believe God kept me from making some very stupid decisions, protected me.

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  6. Awesome you got the scholarship and great poem indeed

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  7. Your talent showed up early on and I remembered how I felt some of this at that age as well. A poem to make one think and remember.

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    1. Your many posts about your journeys across this country, to discover your own identity, show your own individuality quest. Thank you Inger.

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  8. You not only rose to the challenge - you flew.
    And I wouldn't be a teenager again for any money. So much anxiety, so much pain.

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    1. I remember those days and cringe. the "if onlys" frighten me, and realize that God had a road for me to follow.

      I would not go back to 17 ever. Ever.

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  9. Gosh, 1969. I was looking for work. You were more determined and I admire that. You did good, Susan, and that's a fine poem.

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    1. Thanks, Geo! You and I were on the same timeline? Great times and scary times.

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  10. Another shining example of we can achieve anything if we truly work hard.

    You made your parents very proud.

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  11. So glad you got the scholarship and carried on your education. I always knew my schooling would end when I reached legal leaving age. 15 it was then.
    I like your poem.

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    1. Determination to go to college started early. As I watched HS classmates either going to Vietnam, joining the family farm, marrying farmers, or working at local stores, staying there was not an option. You have a story yourself I would love to hear.

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  12. Awesome poem but what a close shave. The starlight of heaven must be flowing in your direction.

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    1. It was a close shave. To stay in that community wasn't possible--going to college was the only place for me and my thoughts.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!