Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Invocation

"Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road." Walt WhitmanSong of the Open Road from Leaves of Grass

IT'S MY TURN tomorrow to give the invocation at Rotary. Since our guest speaker is Donald Davidson, the official historian of the Indianapolis 500, I thought I would make travel my theme even though the cars at Indy never actually go anywhere other than round and round and round — granted, at a very high rate of speed — but still round and round and round.

I was grateful for last week's invocation. It was a few lines of poetry from Walt Whitman. Even though Paul and I own a copy of Leaves of Grass, I've read very little of it; I became inspired to consider it afresh. My invocation for tomorrow will also comes from Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road.

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road . . . 

From this hour, freedom!
From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating.

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