I was taking a Metro North train into New York City about two months ago when I began writing this rhyming poem. I had been thinking about those millions of times I’ve second-guessed myself – wondering if I should have done something more linear with my life. This is about control and fate and memory.
With sullen heart and heavy head
We imagine places other paths might’ve led
Had we picked up guitar at the age of four
Later formed a band and gone on tour
Or learned another language really well
Joined the Foreign Service for a spell
Studied really hard at physics and biology
Developed life-saving medical technology
Or proposed to that woman we adored
And with her, the world explored
Have you ever wished to start again?
Taken the proven path of other men?
Should we fight that thing called fate?
Or is it something we can’t manipulate?
Think of that time you took control
Guided which way the boat would roll
Steered your life on a course you desired
Didn’t leave it to something previously conspired
If you can, take that feeling and capture it in a bottle
Study it and make a model
A blueprint on how to be more proactive
How to rely less on being reactive
To the whims of life outside of our command –
Lay claim to the actions of your heart and hand
Be mindful about every action you take
Consider each step you make
So you can lead a life, content
One lived with your consent