. . . a long time ago now . . . it was in a mild winter much like this year . . . remember driving home as a passenger . . . dad driving & me staring out the window into the twilight sky . . . the saskatchewan skies live so close they beg to be touched . . . when we hooked up we would drive home together . . . he in his early years as a university administrator . . . i a first year arts student . . . we barely talked . . . what was there to talk about? . . . he turned down a wide, quiet road and spoke . . . spoke in a way which said: 'what i'm about to say is important' . . . "Don't ever compromise yourself" . . . What? . . . "Don't ever compromise yourself!"
. . . didn't know what to say . . . so said nothing . . .
. . . thirty years later can still hear him making that statement . . . at the time wondered if he believed he had compromised himself at some point . . . maybe even just recently in his decision to be bumped out of research into the academic office world . . . didn't ask & never did but never forgot
. . . on my way to visit mom . . . she's alone and has been for more than a couple of years . . . drive down that road . . . never compromise yourself . . . sometimes when facing students i stand passionately espousing some stance . . . in mid gesture stop . . . what does this studying mean . . .
. . . today the question posed itself . . . if we stopped saying a word, say the word 'love' was banned and 'we' never spoke the word . . . would the feeling of love cease to be . . .
. . . is that why mom surrounds herself with pictures of dad . . . why can't i forget . . . don't ever compromise yourself . . .