The Tortuous Path to Purpose

Yosemite Mist trail looking west

Two paths separated in a flaxen forest,

Sad then it was not possible to wander each

As a single traveler, I remained interminably

While I peered along one course a vast distance

Noting an abrupt curve in the wilderness;

Yosemite Vernal Falls Mist Trail steps

I chose the opposite trail that was equally reasonable,

With possibly greater worth than the other,

As it was overgrown, wild, and beckoned me;

Upon traveling each, to me both had

Been weather-beaten nearly alike,

Yosemite start of trail to Vernal Falls river

Each at daybreak spread forth with the same

Amount of foliage no boot had trampled dark.

Hah, this wanderer reserved the other for the future!

Aware that one path always leads to another,

My mind was unsure my journeys would return here.

Yosemite Valley

This happening is told with weariness

 Far in the distant future:

 Distinct paths separated in a forest, and my

 Choice, yes mine—was to embrace the course

 With fewer travelers, which,

 Resulted in giving my tortuous life profound purpose.

Dan speaking at nationwide protest of Nixon's Cambodian invasion 1970 with other Vietnam Vets who threw their medals in a coffin at the San Francisco Federal Building

Dan speaking at nationwide protest of Nixon's Cambodian invasion 1970 with other Vietnam Vets who threw their medals in a coffin at the San Francisco Federal Building

book cover all the difference
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About Daniel C. Lavery

Dan’s writing shows his transformation from a child to an athlete and a Duke pre-ministerial student where he began to question ancient and arbitrary dogma. He graduated from Annapolis, navigated a Navy jet, and a ship to Vietnam, fell in love, turned peace activist and a civil rights lawyer for Cesar Chavez's UFW. His memoir, "All the Difference," describes the experiences, some humorous and others deadly, that changed his consciousness from a pawn to an advocate crusading for justice against some of the most powerful forces in America.

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