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STROKIN’: PART THREE THE FULLBACK He was twenty-eight yards and thirty-two seconds from the end of a career He had broken several bones, had a permanent limp, knew the burden of performance to be an unforgiving weight like the heavy black barbells he lifted every day As the bright, flooding lights bathed the angular field within the circular arena, revealed the eerie mathematics of tactics and execution through the crystalline veil of a wind-driven sleet, he ran the “forty-three scissors” for the very last time Behind the savage right tackle who obliterated the linebacker made famous by the press, he cut back up the middle with the athletic precision\of a quarter horse at work in a high plains stampede and rumbled toward the goal like a pudgy high school senior hearing his best girl in the stands! The network color analyst said the veteran pro had been strokin’! STROKIN’: PART FOUR A MAN ALMOST LIKE ME From a breath-taking perch overlooking the clearing where a narrow rapid stream carved a deepening ravine through a thick old-growth forest above the ocean nearby, a solitary gentleman considered the progress of a polyrhythmic life of aspiration and achievement, misjudgment and endurance, of tragedy and recovery and of emotional maturation in sensuality and love, of the many contradictions that flowed through his being like the turbulent squalls bringing snowfall then lightning to the gray churning clouds, to the crashing white water and to the intermittent sunlight that cradled his home Having crafted a life out of synch with his time, unable to brag and, no matter the challenges, refusing to whine, he was weathered but sanguine, expectant and primed Reluctantly aging but ready for adventure, he was an animated spirit, a bold navigator in an endless milieu full of blessings and bounty, full of beauty and grace, and like a migrating orca, he was a long- distance swimmer and the muscles of his soul, though older and slower, were red-hot and ready for the remainder of his journey and whatever might come! He stood up to move on and the people around him whose beautiful stories intertwined with his own were right there beside him, even right there inside him and buoyed by the wonder of unexpected love their spirits were dancing as if the sun and the moon and this beautiful blue planet had been made just for them They were ardent and driven by the power of purpose and faith in the future, they were determined and ready and surprisingly strong, somehow awkwardly happy and like him, they were strokin’!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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