Monday, November 26, 2012


By Arthur H. Gunther III

We all walk, run, race, saunter and mope our individual ways through life, journeys that for most are never just straightaway but with twists and turns, detours, cul de sacs, dead ends and, if we are fortunate, the rare casual lane. This is about that last byway, which I have tarried on just a precious few times.

If you have had a longish life, as I am into, with a fine family, successful career and a feeling that you were given an opportunity to make a very slight but real difference to the good and that you have tried to do that, you cannot have complaint. And I do not. Even my falls and flaws have somehow been positive. I am damn lucky.

Yet if I went to the finish line without having been on the casual lane, a door to what might be next might not have opened in preview. Not sure if I am headed to that -- the jury is still out -- but I have gotten a glimpse of things fantastic.

Each of us has a mojo, a core essence, the fuel that is in our engine, our raison d’etre. Mine is the quiet. It is where I drink my life water. Nothing creative, no goosebumps, no inner happiness, no true understanding comes without being there, however short that may be, however infrequent. The quiet comes when it does, and it is obvious that my god of the woods and all that is simple and decent offers it.

Once, so long ago now, in a time when the planets seemed to bring confusion and I was stalled against moving forward on every level, I found respite without looking for it on a casual lane where the goosebumps came in conversation about nothing but about everything. I was not there long, and the next road had many twists and turns, too, then the long straightaway came. It has been the highway of job (career), raising family, losing friends and family, gaining friends and family, of much change, retirement, new opportunities,

Now I am back on a casual lane from time to time, again enjoying conversation that brings insight and comfort, a general purring for the synchronization is right as it was so long ago. I refill my quiet there, bouncing the ordinary off a co-conversationalist, as once before. Different time, different people, but understanding, understood.

The writer is a retired newspaperman.

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