One Great Thing

I was thinking about [Uncle Bill] again today and thought of this poem/song.  It’s one of my favorites.  In my experience, it’s difficult to not be distracted by those shore winds.  Your Dad has such a wonderful way of being in the world; I suspect because he was holding in his heart that “one great thing.”  With love, Jen

And I think over again
My small adventures
When from a shore wind I drifted out
In my kayak
And thought I was in danger.
My fears,
Those small ones
That I thought so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach.

And yet there is only
One great thing,
The only thing:
To live to see in huts and on journeys
The great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.

Song from Kitlinguharmuit (Copper Eskimo), The Report of the Firth Thule Expedition 1921-1924

Excerpted from The Last Light Breaking (Living among Alaska’s Inupiat Eskimos), Nick Jans


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