My dear Friends,
Birthdays are a time for nostalgia and gratitude, sharing edited recollections, leaving the unedited ones to be sanitised by a copy-editor. I can’t, of course, really share 76 years even if there was a captive audience to inflict it on. A minute a year would precipitate walkout, and a blink a year it would need a Kathakali interpreter. A memoir might be completed for posthumous publication. However, I thought I’d sum up my life in an image: walking into the future. Walking is the myth I live by. It’s not an image of a settler in a comfort-zone, but rather one who comforts the discomforted and discomforts the comfortable, as Galbraith once challenged young graduates
It’s my personal myth of walking at the margins, though not as a scapegoat, the ‘homo sacer’ of Agamben, sacrificed by his people for communal peace, but ‘homo ambulans’, critical of the establishment status quo, trying to be constructive even at the risk of being seen as destructive, hopefully not cynical but creative. If I can’t beat them never joining them opportunistically but striving to remain, not the last man standing, but the one still walking into the future. For I believe this earth was meant for us to walk on, not lie under, not until one exits.
The prayer I make, the blessing I seek is to stay the course:
Walking into the future
I want to walk this earth as Jesus did,
making a difference,
bringing wholeness and hope,
forgiveness and healing
to a bruised and broken world;
helping to fulfil hidden promises
deep in peoples heart’s,
to be what we were always meant to be;
walking with friends and companions,
with soul-mates and fellow-travellers,
with wayfarers on the way.
And when I must,
walking alone with my absent-God,
echoing in my heart Tagore’s haunting song
Êkla Chôlo Re, Êkla Chôlo Re
(Walk Alone, Walk Alone),
but always and everywhere
walking with hope, daring the future,
which is already now but not fully yet.
Walk me into your future, O my God!
and you wayfarer, will walk with me?
be friend and companion, soul-mate and guide?
- Rudi Heredia