Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No Longer Waiting

My friend Laini, who works at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, tells me she has only memorized one poem in her life. It is Laurence Ferlinghetti’s I Am Waiting. It is a poignant poem from a poignant time in our country’s history. The last couple of lines are her favorite in the poem “and I am perpetually awaiting a rebirth of wonder.”

My friends were more than a little shocked when I rediscovered the mountains of my youth with Atticus and fell head over heels for them. They were even more surprised when I sold my newspaper and moved north into this new world. I’m not sure they understood my metamorphosis then, or even now. The best way to explain what changed my life is to say that unlike Ferlinghetti I am no longer “awaiting a rebirth of wonder.”

I found it up here and see it nearly everywhere we go. You don’t have to be on top of a mountain or sitting on the edge of a ledge. We see it even on our daily walks around Jackson, as we did this morning when we ran into this heron and spent fifteen minutes watching it eat before it took flight.
Here’s the entire Ferlinghetti poem…

I Am Waiting
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti
I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
Of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

1 comment:

Jan said...

Beautiful pictures! I am always amazed at how Atticus just sits & watches the wildlife. My Mini Schnauzer Sadie, would be barking & trying to chase them!