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