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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/22/22

Two barns diverged

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Message Gary Lindorff
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American flag barn
American flag barn
(Image by Philip N. Cohen)
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There is much thinking coming up.
I mean there is much more thinking ahead for me;
It is in the stars.
But today I am giving my brain a rest.
The important thing is,
Due to a recent experience
I trust my brain.

We just got back from a road trip
And I want to share something that happened
On that road trip:

There was a barn in Pennsylvania
Where the whole side of the barn
Facing the road
Was a flag.
That triggered a lot of thoughts,
Let me tell you!
They were all my thoughts
And they weren't very kind.
That made me question
The point of a brain,
For certainly my unkind thoughts
Were not the barn's fault or the flag's fault.
Another person's brain
Might have simply remarked
At the impressive size of the flag
And blissfully moved on
Without triggering nasty thoughts
About the man who owned the barn.

But I couldn't shake the image of that giant flag
For about a hundred miles.
Until we passed another barn in New York
Emblazoned with the giant formula:
"Ethos = Pathos = Logos".
That seemed to resolve everything.

I have no idea what
Ethos = Pathos = Logos means,
But whatever it means
Was the perfect antidote
For the giant flag barn.
Mind you, all of this was happening
Exclusively in my brain.
After that I made up with my brain.
Was it not watching out for me afterall
By not trying to decipher
This cryptic formula
That may or may not
Be the answer to all the problems
Of the human race,
Thus protecting me from myself?

Two barns diverged in my brain.
I chose to focus on neither
And that has made all the difference.

(Article changed on Jul 22, 2022 at 11:32 AM EDT)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of five nonfiction books, three collections of poetry, "Children to the Mountain", "The Last recurrent Dream" (Two Plum Press), "Conversations with Poetry (coauthored with Tom Cowan), and (more...)

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