The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt
In the 9th grade, two synchronistic events occurred in my life. First, my beautiful, blonde French teacher came up to me one day and said, “Robert, I’d like you to write the class poem.” I stammered quite a bit, I’m sure, but I remember saying, “But Ms. Cline, I’ve never written a poem before!” She looked at me calmly and said, “You can do it.” I’d been called out by a teacher I liked and respected. I was asked to be more than I’d previously imagined myself to be.
The second event, near the end of that school year, happened at our church fellowship hall where we held Sunday classes. Mike, a guy I knew a little but who was a whole year younger, came up to me and said, “Robert, I’m going to start a band and I want you to be the singer.” This time I didn’t stammer. I looked at him in disbelief and said, “I’ve never sung in public before.” He quickly said, “You can do it!” Three weeks ago we celebrated our 50th year on stage together.
This pattern became a habit later in life. People I knew and respected would look at me and imply something like, “Robert, the next step on your road to becoming who you truly are is _________.” Once I was told, “You’ve got something in you that you don’t know about yet, and your daddy has it too.” Another time a sage advised, “Stay who you are and come alongside your father as an equal.” Over and over again, wise people have helped nudge me in the right direction at crucial times.
And throughout these times, spanning decades now, I’ve had a journal to record my memories, dreams and reflections. This journal is like an old friend I can confide in when big decisions loom. It’s a private place, a place apart from the rumble of the world, a place where my thoughts and feelings can come out into the light to gain clarity and form. Today is one of those days, a cloudy Sunday, with the luxury of time on my side.