The Rubicon

So, on this day in 49 BCE Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon and started a war. That was 1,964 years ago. And I was born in 1964. Coincidence? I think not!

I’m trying to decide whether to start a war, or take some action from which there is no turning back. I’m not as adventurous as I was in my youth, so I probably won’t be volunteering to be yearbook editor (with no experience whatsoever), signing up to go to Africa, or getting married (although that might have more to do with the fact that I’m already married).

What to do, what to do… Maybe I’ll cut my hair! Or, rather, let some professional person cut my hair. That’s not exactly crossing the Rubicon though, is it?

If I were one of those people who write thoughtful, contemplative posts I might talk here about some personal river that’s blocking my path, and perhaps give examples of how I might ford that river (or just walk along beside it). But I’m not one of those people.

Or I could write a humor piece called “Don’t Try This At Home” about my attempts to get to the other side of that river.

Or I could ask you guys to talk about your own personal Rubicons & what you plan to do about them (actually, that’s a pretty good idea – so feel free to respond in the comments).

Instead I’ll share a poem about a river which I posted 2 1/2 years ago (having sat here for 30 minutes trying to write a new one – argh!).

The Mad River flows
away from my heart's desire.
The thrum of possibility
muted under rushing water.

I stand on the bank
and think twice about
what that means – heart's
desire – and what I need.

I need ice cream
and contentment.
I need to know that
you want ice cream too.

Or maybe not ice cream.
Maybe I need what
is just down river –
a sound on the edge of my ear.

Caught, I stand on the bank
and think thrice about
my heart's desire
and what do I need…

To plunge into that mad water,
or bide on the bank,
or turn and head back home
to you?


  1. I think this time of year always sends us restless. I love the poem.

  2. Great poem. I find it interesting that The Rubicon plays such an important part in history yet, today, historians can't agree on where the Rubicon River is or was.

  3. I don't know whether to be relieved or sad that my math is wrong - 49 BCE is actually 2,062 years ago. Ha!

  4. Love the poem and the fact that you make math mistakes too :)

  5. See? Math sucks.

    Happy Birthday.

  6. My only advice is to be open to possibilities that come your way. I think when we want to make a change, we just need to recognize our options. Know what I mean? Dave and I never set out to move to London -- we just responded to an opportunity.

  7. I'm with Steve Reed - don't go looking for a war, instead when trouble comes knocking invite it in for a cup of tea and see what it has to say for itself

  8. There are times when your down-to-earth approach to the world around us is just a delight to read. You have tickled my funny bones today, Dana. HUGS

  9. Such a lovely poem, but for some reason, it makes me crave ice cream.


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