By John W

This particular winter had seemed long in the making
Even longer in leaving. . .like an end that never came
The awaited package which never arrived
A Nordic darkness bereft of light or hope. . .only isolation

A day’s sun seemed measured in minutes, not hours
The frigid cold of being alone was itself numbing
Sapping even the latent desire to live
Eviscerating the last hope of a new life, of change

But change would happen, there was no stopping it now
Except a slip of course, a relapse into “before”
It was clear one of those always lurked just out-of-sight
But not as far out-of-mind, so change was the only treatment

Another slip was certainly possible, another recovery against Big Odds
The Decision had been made, the only requirement clearly met
So being fear-less was possible. . .Without Fear, Fearless-so very doable
No false evidence appearing real, the Decision would overrule it!

The suggestion was to take stock, an inventory, a thorough one though.
No longer could I take the inventory of another and blame me on them
I had to take my inventory, all about me, a personal inventory
With a clear head I could be thorough and fearlessly cross the portal to change

The clarity induced by “without” helped me to be searching
I could more easily see the before, through the clear eyes of today
To be no longer afraid of what I would see
Promised I could not regret it or shut the door upon it

The task thus presented clear, likewise the goal,
For tales of those who avoided the task or missed the goal were gruesome
The lore was steeped in hearsay and anonymity, but ever present:
Be thorough and fearless, do the best you can with what you have or die

No “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about this fork in the road, just the black and white
Starkness of choice, facing newcomers and old-timers alike, who
With the resolve of those in foxholes as the whistle to attack sounds
Engage daily this life and death struggle, where no quarter is given or expected

“You do not have to do this alone” this Army’s motto
My captain, my sponsor, issued the suggestions
These the same he had received as he this task had faced
My battle was his too, that is why he made so much sense to me.

One by one the resentments were sighted and mapped
My part in their making brought them closer, now well within range.
As each was then catalogued, recorded, a sense of progress becalmed me
“You need not be perfect “ I was told, just be the best you can now!

Only now I was not set up for failure, as had always been true before,
This was different, this change was a new outlook, a new attitude
How easy before it had been to blame them or it
Now the mirror of this process always kept me in focus too

The new day was dawning, I could feel it, as no feeling I had ever had,
I knew too I could admit to it, for I was no longer alone.
In the doing I was changing, in the admission,
I had hope today that the change would really come.

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