Inner Circle

Sometimes it gets quiet. The rise before the fall, the fall after the rise, and the illusion of a point in time, of stillness. Long enough to hear the voices fade and the quiet roar. In that inner circle people take different forms. The ones closest to us live in and on in multiple selves.

Sometimes you need to pause along the path. Sit and take a view around you. Where you have come from, the climb ahead. Sometimes these pauses are short. Other times a force seems to say, “Wait…keep looking around. Keep listening.”

photo-path sky

Those in our inner circle change form. Including us. Transformation in the flow of life can be quiet or a roar that demands you to let go for you can’t hold on. You can only ride with it for its power dwarfs you.

My inner circle has been inundated as it changes shape and its inhabitants change form. The work is done in dreams or in the seams of the day when you go to a place that warps time and space. You could be anywhere. Such is grief. Such is faith and hope. You listen and move on.

My sons reside in that inner circle and a moment of grace and synchronicity blessed my father’s farewell. I prepared a eulogy of sorts, ad-libbed when I realized some guests needed some clarity for they did not know my father’s early years. I described how I would remember my father and in the home stretch, I could not go on. Not surprised for every time I read the words prior to that moment I could not go on.

By some touch of fate, my sons sat beside me in this circle of grieving family and friends. I handed the paper and the words to my oldest and he did not hesitate. He carried on eloquently and beautifully. He’s always been a wonderful and poised speaker. But he’d not seen these words prior and I appreciated his willingness and courage to take the lead in such a bare moment.  What is ineffable is that from the first sound that floated out into the room, he spoke the words just as I had written, just as I heard them in my mind. The rises and falls, the pace, rests, tone and rhythm. The solemness and the awe of describing a life lived. My voice, the writer in my head, floated from my son into the air.

How could that be?

I patted his back like the early days, as he handed the words back to me. And thought of how often words do not capture life, living, the sublime—or the connection of three generations of sons.


photo credit: Vijendra Singh (


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About Dr. John Panepinto

Direction. Execution. Evolution. Each day can be an expression of living with purpose and focusing on what matters most. My sites share this theme of vision, living in our most important roles and responsibilities from imagination and creativity in a simple, practical way. I am committed to educating and serving, founded in principles of development, that people can use and practice in their every day lives.