Wayne Michael DeHart ( June, 2020 )
No small endeavor: defining the word “found” in terms of my own life’s experience
using exactly 50 letters, no more, no fewer.
In 2016, that was my challenge, my assignment, my mission.
The reason, at that time, was urgent and personal.
Today, four years later, the urgency is gone and the task less personal.
Yet it stands, still, as a benchmark accomplishment, a lasting achievement.
It is extremely difficult for me to settle on something, anything, without
soon wanting to change it in some way, or wishing I had.
Though I referenced The Fifty directly and indirectly in Post #16 titled “In Remembrance – A Reassurance” ( it is in fact both the primary purpose and the conceptual centerpiece of that entry), I owe it a stand-alone presence as the 20th reading in “The Intellection Collection”. Because neither the “Collection” nor this website would exist without its seed, its energy, its inspiration.
My online portfolio of photos of fields of green and gold reflect blurred memories of sometimes walking, sometimes running, through both real-life settings and those that live and die in my imagination, in relentless pursuit of God-knows-what.
Telling, that last choice of words.
In 1993, the artist Sting debuted the haunting allure of his own “Fields of Gold” and I wondered if he saw them the same way I saw them and if he had chosen to look past the green sometimes present midst the barley because the universal appeal and seductive glimmer of gold was the lasting imagery he sought.
His lyrics capture a shared experience, whereas my fields hosted none other than myself.
The song, however, rekindled long-forgotten feelings of those walks and runs through colorful countrysides, movements without direction, absent companionship. And so I was beckoned there again, to the fields of my younger days – most flowered, a few not, yet always alluring, enticing, inviting.
In the twenty-plus years between first hearing the song and the return of the memories, circumstances encountered along my path led me to the aforementioned urgency and personal progression. Led me, molded me, sculpted me. Provided me sanctuary, an oasis in an unsettled mind.
Fifty letters, no more, no fewer – because that was the promise
Focus was the only tool I needed in my belt. A tool I had mastered to the nth degree for so many years, but one which had slowly and steadily worn down until it was lost completely in 2010. With that loss came an ever-widening hole in my travel bag, a hole which sucked everything but my heartbeat into its darkness.
That hole seemed very much unlike the one in 1998, as described in Post #5 – “View From A Hole.”
Yet, in retrospect, it was simply a paradoxically inverse image of itself. One hole – different self-placement. Draining from the bottom, while providing from the top a sliver of light that flickered so often to the edge of certain extinguishment. But just as with Jimmy Louis’ persistent embers from his faded flame in Post #3, that sliver of light has never yielded its place nor surrendered its promise, and many days it has even widened before stubbornly surrendering the space it had gained.
Fifty letters closed the bottom of the hole and have continued to preserve and protect the light at the top. For now at least. Each day’s today shapes its own tomorrow, bringing previews of hope and promises of calm. That’s what survival comes down to sometimes – convincing oneself that while tomorrow is not likely to alter one’s course, it … could. Thus it’s worth the chip it takes to stay in the game.
Crafted together into fourteen words.
Words I can touch.
Words you can touch.
Words that can touch you back.
Saying them, seeing them, sharing them, safeguards the light and creates the lifeline.
From there, as it always has, the rest falls on me.