the thread

Posted by in letters to the boys

I heard this poem for the first time last week and I have revisited and reread it many times…   What does this poem make you think of?  I think of my greater purpose in life.  And whether that is something I discover, choose or remember, I am not sure.  But it’s interesting and helpful to think about the thread that I want to hold on to throughout my life.


There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

—William Stafford