on second winds

Cafe Ariel, 12/28/92

Dear All,

My life has been a slow unfolding of the last gift I received from my Father. On his death bed one day in 1952 he told me that “second wind always comes”. He was speaking specifically to cross-country running. But as I have persevered on my sometimes soaring, sometimes stuttering personal peace pilgrimage, I have learned that the truth of “second wind” blows everywhere, always.

It is as simple as the rhythm of inhaling and exhaling once, twice…who knows how many times? It is as simple as sunrise and sunset – as winter, spring, summer, fall.

It is as tangible and miraculous, for me, as:

  1. my second retirement, October 2, 1992, from 29 years of “appointed rounds” which ended gloriously with six years within the glow of Berkeley’s Rose Garden neighborhood
  2. the repeated “second winds” necessary for the “keeping-on-keeping-on” commitment to being mated which Mary Lee and I have been sharing these 37 years of gift after gift
  3. the rooted and winged lives of Calvin James, Lee Stephen and Grace Virginia Trampleasure (Yes, Mary Lee, we did some things right! Yes, my offspring, your lives and loves have often filled the sails on my becalmed vessel of vision.)
  4. my promising week joining the “inaugural dance” in D.C. (A President named Bill can’t be all bad. A poet named Maya Angelou is worth hearing in person. A sister-in-law’s hospitality within Metro distance of the celebrations can’t be ignored. Any chance to visit Tom Jefferson again must be seized. After all, what’s a retirement for?)

Then sudden deaths of two good friends recently within weeks of each other, the memorial service celebration for one in Paradise, California, and the coincidental visit to the Trampleasure family plot in Sunset View Cemetery in Corning, California, have added the only amendment necessary to find doctrine of “second wind”. The time comes, for us all, when “second wind” fades and suddenly it is the sustaining presence of “afterglow” that lights our way. (See “Frank and Ernest” comic attached.) [ed: I’ll try to find this and attach it]

As this poet once wrote, “go and glow, touch and torch”.

Peace, love, shalom, hallelujah, Bill

P.S. 1993’s 5th Sundays (1/31, 5/30, 8/29, 10/31) from 7:30 to 9:30 pm shall be Second Wind/Afterglow evenings at 1423. Join us? And join my gentle crusade to “Take Back the Mails” from domination by bulk business mail (“junk”) by writing more love letters, letters to editors and goverments, friendly postcards and such. TBTM!

Three poems about love


is what matters


is what counts

win, lose or draw

it’s love

that amounts

to something

to everything

to all

in this life

so let’s live

and let love

* * *

here and now

we love and live

or here and now

we die

no far, fair land

no time sublime

beneath some cloudless sky

but here and now

wind blown,

storm tossed

we live

through love

then die

* * *

“Love endures all things”

but love likes to laugh and smile, too

and love doesn’t need all the things we do

just to prove that it can endure them

like flowers

they may need us to manure them


but sun and rain

and even a kind word or gentle touch

have been heard to add much

to the blooming miracle