The End is Nothing, the Road is All

I am a collector of quotes.
Wisdom from those further ahead along the path.
Tucked into corners of frames, tacked to the window moulding and taped to the easel
are dozens of mantras which, after years of passing them by, sometimes blend into
the studio clutter like patterns on old and faded wallpaper.
Until I need them.
Like when I am caught off balance, and can hear the dragons in the distance,
and the corner of some ratty piece of scratch paper, that I have stared at blankly every day
for twenty years, lifts and flutters and catches my stubborn self by the collar
and whispers…
read me.

Though I have read many incarnations of this oft quoted lesson, this version, which I came across while listening to a tape of a radio production of Willa Cather’s life and work, is the one that I copied onto a scrap of paper over twenty years ago. If you are old enough, and lucky enough, you will be able to hear it in Colleen Dewhurst’s smoke graveled baritone
as I do now when called to remember.