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i've whistled in the dark
a poem by gregory a. milinovich
"celebrate the children"

i've whistled in the dark.

i've looked over a fiery sea of autumnal glory, with freezing fall in my lungs and unspeakable beauty all under me.

i've been deeply loved in my darkest moments.

i've given my supper to a homeless man who said with golden words, "thank you so much."

i've stood on a hillside with some 50,000 people and acknowledged with them that there is something, someone, bigger than us.

i've eaten more chocolate than i dare to imagine.

i've officiated weddings - such joy - and funerals - so many tears.

i've stood in the front of a country church as she walked in white - my bride, my beautiful bride.

i've watched my favorite teams win the super bowl and the world series.

i've seen an old sunken ship while snorkeling off the white shores of the dominican republic.

i've graduated from college. and kindergarten!

i've hiked and camped and climbed and slept and ate on the appalachian trail.

i've learned to play the guitar. and the drums. and the harmonica.

i've eaten an earthworm to prove my utter disgusting-ness.

i've helped build a house for a family in mexico.

i've seen my breath in winter.

i've seen my son breath his very first breath, shed his first tear, give his first embrace, and taste his first cookie.

i've danced in dublin, sunbathed in san juan, meandered through manhattan, and waded in the water outside the capital building as i watched 4th of july fireworks in washington d.c.

i've worked at an amusement park.

i've smelled the air in a dunkin' donuts.

i've fallen asleep to the rhythm of the snoring of a sixty pound bulldog in my bed, his enormous vibrating spotted head on my arm.

i've laughted 'til my stomach was sore.

i've had friends that i would die for.

i've danced like a banshee, alone in my room, with the music at deafening levels.

i've clung to hope in a couple times of utter brokenness.

i've held fresh bread against my nose and breathed through it like a floury and heavenly gas mask.

i've heard the crack of a bat, smelled the hot dogs and beer, and had my breath taken away by the green of the grass.

i've been given thousands of second chances.

i've wept over a poem, a movie, a commercial, and a reunion.

i've slept until noon.

i've been lost in the music.

i've played in the snow.

i've tenderly kissed my son, and passionately kissed my wife.

i've baptized babies.

i've licked peanut butter from a spoon.

i've written poetry by candlelight. and coffee.

i've jetted through the sky, between the puffy clouds, in a huge airplane.

i've prayed with monks in a monastery in the mountains of ireland.

i've earned a master's degree.

i've tapped my foot to bluegrass, banged my head to metal, snapped my fingers to jazz, moved my hips to hip hop, and closed my eyes to classical.

i've built and played and helped and tried and painted and glued and taught and washed and celebrated and held and prayed and preached and begged and opened and received and chewed and offered and spread and inhaled and listened and confessed and bartered and shared and swallowed and touched and dreamed and gasped and believed and created and lived and enjoyed.

i've done all this and so much more. do i ever dare complain again? have i the right to be anything other than absolutely full of joy?

january 19, 2007


mary said…
dear hero,

you have also saved lives.

you have tickled.

you have inspired.

post script:(why does that little boy in your collage look so much like you and Jack! :) )
pete said…
you make beautiful collages. if i ever get motivated enough to make a real record album (or even a self-produced one) i'll request a collage from you for the cover.
greg. said…
thank you, pete. good to have you back. i've been missing you, and hoping that i didn't scare you away with my whole jeter obsession.

i appreciate your kind words about the collage. it is something i really want to pursue. and by pursue i guess i mean pour more time into and take it a bit more seriously. i would be happy to design something for you anytime. just let me know...

pete said…
I've been mired down in J Term Hebrew, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Baruch Hashem!

I'll reply more often in the near future--I've been reading, just don't have as much time for the next week and a half as I did prior to January. I took at 24 break just to get some stuff in my head straight, and it's been very good. Of course, I'm behind, but that's usually the case anyway.
greg. said…

good luck with that. i have always wanted to learn hebrew. well, i shouldn't say "always," because that simply isn't true. i mean, i wasn't sitting on my mom's lap asking for fruit snacks and a hebrew textbook. but, since i fell in love with the first testament i have wanted to learn hebrew. it seems like this incredibly poetic and deep (and by deep i mean deep in your gut) kind of language. do well!

greg. said…

i have not saved any lives, other than that time when i was skiing with jack...but that's another story.

the little boy is some random boy, but it is interesting that you thought that because i have always thought it looked like me when i was little.


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