Thursday, June 10, 2010

A missive from Jordan

Jordan Allie is one of the two former Marines whom I met in mid-January. Jordan and Josiah did the standard Marine gig in Haiti: saving lives and being quiet about it. We stay in contact a bit. He sent me this piece from Robert Service. I know I have seen it before but after the last five months it strikes a chord with me. I do not feel that failure is a consequence of failing to fit in but it is deeply moving to me. To all who pick up and go and to all of our families who suffer because we do; if I may be so arrogant as to include myself in this group.

The Men Who Don't Fit In By Robert W. Service:

There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't stay still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and they rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest. If they just went straight they might go far; They are strong and brave and true; But they're always tired of the things that are, And they want the strange and new. They say: "Could I find my proper groove, What a deep mark I would make!" So they chop and change, and each fresh move Is only a fresh mistake. And each forgets, as he strips and runs With a brilliant, fitful pace, It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones Who win in the lifelong race. And each forgets that his youth has fled, Forgets that his prime is past, Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead, In the glare of the truth at last. He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance; He has just done things by half. Life's been a jolly good joke on him, And now is the time to laugh. Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost; He was never meant to win; He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone; He's a man who won't fit in

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I welcome comments, questions or anything anyone wishes to post on the situation in Haiti.