Monday, April 26, 2010

The Ambler

Durward Winze was an ambler. Not only did he amble when he walked along the byways of his country village, he ambled through life. Being such, he was one of those fellows who took life as it came. Not much ambition that Durward, but somehow he got along. It's not that he wasn't smart; took one of those IQ tests and scored over 140. No, he was smart enough, he just didn't have any goals in life.

Durward was a reader of books. He accumulated tons of books for his own library, mostly from secondhand shops and library sales. The city library was a weekly stop for him. and it was usual for him to bring home 4 or five books to read. And read them he did, returning them faithfully each Saturday morning and returning home with an armload of new tomes. To say that Durward lived vicariously would be a gross understatement.

One day while having a conversation with an old family friend, Doctor Lambed Kroner, Durward admitted that from time to time he regretted not having set any real goals in his life. Mediocrity satisfied him most of the time but every now and then, usually when observing friends more driven than himself,or when reading biographies of men like Michelangelo or Leonardo de Vinci he would ask himself how much better his life would have been if he had set some goals in life and then worked to see them through to the end.

In the early Fall of his life, Durward suffered a nonfatal heart attack which caused him to go on disability. A truck driver/laborer his whole life, he was now, effectively, grounded.
What to do? What to do?

Throughout his adult life, from time to time he would listen to people tell him he should've been a teacher of English or literature. "Perhaps," he thought, "this heart attack is a blessing in disguise." He enrolled in college. Probably for the first time in his life he had a goal to work toward; becoming a writer/teacher of literature.

His wit and intellect endeared him to his much younger classmates and professors as well. Exceeding even his own expectations, he was soon on his way to a magna cum-laude.

As one enters the special room in the library dedicated to Durward Winze, two things catch the visitor's eye: Durward's silver topped walking stick propped against the wall just inside the doorway, and a sign on the door which reads,; Come in and set a spell, amble amongst the books here-in and find your Goals. D. W.
Durward Winze died of a massive coronary, nestled in the bosom of academia, his junior year at University.
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Blogger Brian Miller said...

fascinating and inspiring. is this a true story or one you just made up? it rings of truth. very nice magpie.

5:50 AM  
Blogger rel said...

More than a scintilla of truth in this story.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Peter Goulding said...

Oh good, I'm glad there's some truth in it! Masterfully told, as usual.
And what a brilliant name!!

7:26 AM  
Blogger willow said...

That is one fabulous name. I pronounced it Durvard Vinze for added flair. Your tales are always so entertaining, Rel.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Lyn said...

It's good to be a late bloomer..maybe I can make it yet!! Thank you...

11:09 AM  
Blogger Catalyst said...

Oh dear, I'm afraid I related way too much to Durward! Great story, rel!

11:18 AM  
Blogger steviewren said...

OMGosh, you've written my life story! I'm quite the ambler. If only I could find the $$$$$.$$ to pursue my college degree.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Rel, what a story. And it has loads of meaning for me - an adult learner and adult educator. Lifelong learning is one of my passions. AND I decided, around the age of 40 (fortunately for me while there was still time) to become a teacher of creative writing.

But never mind all that - you told the story beautifully.

Your new fan.

2:20 PM  
Blogger joanny said...

Nice inspirational short story. You turned out another great read---so there is a 'hint' of truth -- I hope the real genius is still alive? The kind of person you would love to met in life. and the moral is "it is never too late"?


3:10 PM  
Blogger Tumblewords: said...

You're such a fine tale-spinner. This piece is full of truth and inspiration as well as touches of regret. Provocative.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

Now this was good...

5:52 PM  
Blogger Star said...

It's never too late to change your direction. Your piece was easy to read and flowed along beautifully. I like your writing style very much and I appreciated the sentiment in the story. Well done.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Jingle said...

your character has come to life,
what magical magpie!

8:41 PM  
Blogger Jingle said...

Happy Tuesday!
Mine is up!

8:42 PM  
Blogger Enchanted Oak said...

I was surprised that his occupation was given as laborer. He seemed more a man of moderate means. It was a nice twist. Good work.
BTW, my word verification is "tries"... very apt.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous rob kistner said...

Thank you for introducing me to Durward, I enjoyed the introduction immensely... nice reading your words again, been a while... ;)

Image & Verse

9:41 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Nice. I loved this one.

12:48 AM  
Blogger chiccoreal said...

Dear Rel: Glad to see that there is another fellow ambler. Sometimes life makes goals distant and unattainable. Something really dramatic had to happen; an epithany in Durwards life for him to change and take command. Fighting all odds makes him a greater hero than many of those who are given success handed to them on a silver platter. Somethings are just better and worth more once the Sisyphusian struggle and Mt Olympus is conquered; an amazing feat of mind over matter.

7:28 AM  
Blogger R. Burnett Baker said...

There's some Durward in us all, I'd reckon. Your story offers inspiration!


10:53 AM  
Blogger sheri... said...

rel, this was glorious, and i found myself wishing that i would have spent just a moment at his feet!

9:45 AM  

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