The Builders

(20-22 January 1989) after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When you make a mark on a wall, anyone can see it there. Extrapolate that effect. Apply it to everything you and I do. Everything can mean something. You decide, and so do I. When you kick a can on the street, your kick combines with the asphalt, with the can’s dented shape, with random pieces of gravel, potholes, and garbage to determine its progress. Apply that over time. You can’t make an impression on an empty space, so you jerk and labor, and if you’re lucky things go as you wish, although sometimes you’re lucky if they don’t.