Footprints: Remember the Name

I am tired. It is only another 400 meters until I reach my driveway – the finish line as it were – and I’d really like to walk this last stretch. I don’t though. I turn my attention to the song on my IPod, to following the lyrics. Remember the Name.

10% luck, %15 skill,, 20% concentrated power of will…

I try to add up the numbers in my head, but truth is I can’t focus that long (BTW ever notice how song lyrics, stripped of the voice and instruments to support them, look, well, kind of dumb on the page? They’re not dumb, of course. Perhaps, it’s just that they’re naked and that is somehow embarrassing.)

5% pleasure, 50% pain

I’m almost there, another dozen meters or so. It’s not as though I’m running a marathon; no, it’s only three miles. Three lousy miles.

and a hundred per cent reason to remember the name

I reach our mailbox, and pass it, then slow to a walk. The temperature’s in the high twenties, no breeze to be had. I walk circles on the pavement, sticking to a patch of shade cast by the neighbour’s massive maple trees. I grab my water bottle. Flip off my IPod, but the lyrics keep going in my head.

5% pleasure, 50% pain

It carried me, I realize; the music carried me those last few hundred yards, I wasn’t alone. I had the lyrics, the voices of Fort Minor pulling me along. I had never even heard of Fort Minor (Mike, “Ryu”, Takbir), apparently a creative offshoot of Linkin Park’s leading man.

As I circle and catch my breath, I’m reminded, suddenly, of that poem, about footprints in the sand. You know the one, where a man recalls his life, and in the low points, seeing only one set of footprints instead of two, feels he’s been abandoned by God (or Yaweh, or the holy spirit, or Allah, or That Which Defies Description)? In the poem, the Lord (et al) apparently replied, the times when you have seen only one set of footprints, that is when I carried you. And it was like that. When I didn’t have much spirit of my own left to carry me those last few hundred meters, I leaned on somebody else. An unsuspecting hip hop band perhaps, but still: they got me through.

And it strikes me how many different forms the holy spirit can take. Or, the human spirit, the Divine Spirit – whatever you want to call it. How we support each other, carry each other along, even when we don’t even realize we’re doing it.  …and a hundred per cent reason to remember the name, whatever that name may be.

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