The year was 2014. I was on the towpath and approaching Fletcher’s Cove from the north. I must have been on foot since I started biking once again only in 2016. It must have been early morning since that is the time that I usually run. Just south of Chain Bridge one comes upon Mile Marker 4 on the towpath, and shortly after that, a concrete spillway for the canal that allows overflow water to get to the river. Then, further south, before Fletcher’s Cove itself, a truss bridge (that earlier used to carry the B&O Georgetown branch railroad line) carries the Capital Crescent trail (CCT) over the canal and the towpath. On the side of the bridge for the CCT, just beside the trail, I saw the some graffiti with the following words:
“In the space between right and wrong is where I will find you.”
A very recent search reveals that the poet Rumi might have said something that seems somewhat similar, but not the same:
“Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.”
But, at that time, back in 2014, the original words I had read stayed with me. I was trying to understand what it meant even as I ran. Did it mean that nobody is perfect? I am still not sure what exactly the words were meant to convey, but I would like to think of this message as a comment on the human condition. I still think about it.
I recommend that you read, or listen to, the entire poem.
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.”
via A Brave and Startling Truth: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads Maya Angelou’s Stunning Humanist Poem That Flew to Space, Inspired by Carl Sagan – Brain Pickings
If you did not watch the video of Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot”, you can do it here.
This poem was forwarded to me by a friend. Otto René Castillo was a Guatemalan revolutionary from the 1960s.
Soft jazz in a quiet corner, a good book to delight,
Bursts of activity in the home occasionally interrupting the quiet,
Screams of happy kids in the pool, the fun continues late into the night.
Older, more “mature”, young adults creating their own space,
Adults catching up, walks around the neighborhood, it is no race,
The mingling of the generations, the constant laughter we all embrace.
Food and conversation, the sound of the washing machine occasionally interrupting the chatter,
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner being prepared, with gatherings around the kitchen table that matter.
A late night at the amusement park, kids still excited, still on their own two feet, the parents still stable,
Warm and humid days, a languorous mood, catching a movie, food and drink around a restaurant table,
A vacation in Florida with siblings and families if you are able.