choice & chance – a personal reflection on New Year’s Eve

cloudswords from the e’er shadowy shades of my soul…


awakened by an unwelcomed heart-race of fear,

at this dawn of this year’s


I lay frozen

facing a flood of images menacing,


o’er my mind’s banks

like ranks of

intruders invading the morn’s peace;

instigators questioning the immediate past

(of this year last);

asking about one thing to which I’ve given long thought

and for which I longed to have,

but had no answer:


Will the things you’ve left undone –


the dreams unrealized,

the expectations unmet,

the calls & conversations untaken,

the encounters unhad –


be ne’er done, be left undone

like discarded leftovers?

Or will they carry over

into the new year?


And, if carried, shipped

(which, in some sense they always must),

what will they be?


Toxic cargo stored in the deepest recesses of the hold of the unconscious;

there to deteriorate, contaminate; an itch unreached, a wound unhealed?


Or left on deck;

there to be inspected,





“Paul,” so spoke that inward, silent voice,

“it is your choice.”


In choice,

I know, there alway is the seed of chance

to see

what is to be…

4 thoughts on “choice & chance – a personal reflection on New Year’s Eve

  1. Intense thoughts. You always seem to be able to see things I forget to see. Choice. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t. Maybe some of those crates of festering toxic cargo need to be pitched overboard, becoming the flotsam and jetsam of our souls.


    • Ah, Sandy, a fine and true point, indeed. I think that the aspect of contemplation allows the kind of discernment leading to the finer choice (that makes the decision more than the either-or of leaving behind or taking with) you note of pitching overboard the toxic cargo. Thanks!


  2. Paul,

    There are so many things I could say about this reflection, but I think I tend to insert myself and my life too often into people’s personal reflections. So I’ll simply say that I’ve read this post about ten times already and that your words are simply breathtaking! I pray that the choices you make in 2016 will give you strength for the next 365 days, and that throughout the year you will have inner peace.


    • Thank you, Loretta. I, too, so pray. As I lay in bed this morning wrestling with these thoughts, I could feel my heart beating faster, compelling me to arise and seek some peace in crafting these words to capture my struggles.


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