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Time for change

My friend Jo has been in the moving business for years, and considering she is a wee bit of a human, this is quite a feat. You won’t see her out in the street unloading a piano off one of those huge moving vans, however — she does all her moving inside the house. Whenever she is in the mood for a change of decor, no desk, glass curio cabinet or fully loaded bookcase is too much for her to handle. And don’t think she hasn’t moved some things from upstairs to downstairs and vice versa because she has.

Jo’s husband Chuck says that some days he’d come home from work, step into the living room and think he had entered a neighbor’s house by mistake. Nothing seemed to be where it was when he left in the morning. This just goes to show us that we can never underestimate a woman’s determination when she’s yearning for change.

There are many people like Jo who are longing for change these days, while still others are having trouble just keeping up with too many changes — especially when it comes to technology. Who would have imagined that you’d be reading a novel that had no real pages, for instance, or that the item you ordered from Amazon could soon be delivered by drone?

I remember when my friend Dan bought himself a computer with the goal of at least mastering his email. Soon he threw up his hands and said, “Look, the train has left the station and I’m not on it — and that’s how it’s got to be.” Well, most of us are on the technology train, but now there are so many changes and upgrades that some of us are barely clinging to the caboose by our thumbnails.

Recently I was invited to take part in an event called 100,000 Poets for Change. This is a worldwide event where on a certain day, poets around the globe gather in their communities to express through words or music their desires for change in this world. There were to be about 50 of us there and we would pretty much cover the gamut of causes and subjects we felt needed change.

I spent considerable time working on a new poem for the big day but on the previous afternoon as I was doing the final editing, my computer crashed and the poem vanished. Since there was no time to recreate it, I went through my files and came up with a substitute — though I had some reservations about how it would be received.

The next day when it came time for me to read my poem, I crossed my fingers as I headed for the microphone. Mine would be a fanciful piece I’d written soon after Pope Francis took on his new role at the Vatican and had already begun making several changes. In my poem — “Dating Pope Francis” — I playfully explored the possibility that the Pope would email or call me — perhaps even invite me to visit him in Rome some day.

I was relieved to see that the poets were responding positively as I made my way through this tongue-in-cheek (and rather brash) proposal to the Pontiff. When I’d finished, I realized that it was probably a blessing that I’d lost my original poem, for who better than Pope Francis should be featured on the day we were expressing our thoughts on the need for change? In fact, he may turn out to be just the person to shine the spotlight on the people and places in this world where change is needed the most.

Meanwhile, I suppose my friend Jo will still have days when she needs to move a chair or a painting from one side of the room to the other — and who knows what technological changes the year 2014 will bring to us all? And the chances of Pope Francis contacting me some day? Probably slim to none, but it’s been fun to contemplate, just the same.

Joann Snow Duncanson, a former Peterborough resident now living in Greenland, is the author of “Who Gets the Yellow Bananas?,” co-author of “Breakfast in the Bathtub” and author of her latest book, “Eight Crayons - Poems and Stories by an Almost Sane Woman.” Reach her at www.jsnowduncanson. com or email ourbooks@ worldpath.net.

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