I consider myself a lucky man, not only because my wonderful wife has filled my life with joy and happiness, and not just because of the three sons we raised together; three independent young men who we are ever so proud of. I know of other families who can boast of the same good fortune. I’m lucky because I have friends.
My old and dear friend Mike Colaco is a humble man of many talents. Of late he’s taught me a thing or two. One of those things has to do with friendship and what it means to have a safe friend.
Last weekend I had my 54th Birthday and a visit from my safe friend, Mike. I’m not sure if his intent was to give me a copy of this poem he wrote, as a gift in celebration of my birthday. In his casual way, he handed it to me just before leaving for the evening. Mike is confident and quiet and knows me well enough that I’d need to be alone when reading this poem for the first time. Thanks Mike for the gift – the meaningful gift.
By Mike Colaco
I am a block of marble of a vague form, indiscernible, heavy, in need of work. I have a sense of another form or shape. I am in the sculptor’s workshop. I am to be perfected. The excess is to be chipped away. The chisel is sharp, the hammer heavy. The blows bring pain and tears. I try to stay together but the pieces fall. I know them. They are me, yet they fall away. It hurts to let them go. I used to know my shape. I feel vulnerable, helpless, confused, naked. What is this shape I am becoming?
I feel light and fragile. I feel weak. I need to be strengthened. Do I need support with wood or steel? No. My strength was formed in creation. My grains were bonded in heat. My inner structure was sealed from the beginning. I’ve always had my strength. The sculptor knows this. He is careful with his strokes. He cuts in the proper direction. With a steady hand. With a precise measure and a keen eye. I can trust the sculptor. I can trust my strength.
One day I will be completed. Confirmed a finished work. A beautiful creation. He will be pleased with me. I will feel the shape. I will know the meaning of my form. I will understand my purpose. I will be an example of His work. I may be a wonder to some who will sit and stare. Others may show me no interest. But I will know what I am.
Then the sculptor will take me away and establish me in my place. He will place me on firm ground. Wind will blow hard on me. Rain will batter me. The hot sun will bake me. But I will stand firm. People will come and study me and walk away with new hope. I will attract artists who will draw and paint me. My shape will be known by those who have never seen me. And I will love my sculptor for what he has done.
I meant to ask Mike if he has more like this one – maybe even a collection. Between his work, his art, his music and talents as a budding spiritual counselor, I hope Mike will find the time to publish some of his writings.