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On a morning walk down the city high-streets,
passed countless people, passed shops,
stores, restaurants of all names,
I am stopped in my tracks instantly when I see
a Golden Gunslinger reading a book
while sitting at the foot of a tree.
I’m not sure how long he had been there,
I’m not sure what he was thinking,
but when I looked at him looking down at his book,
to me, the gunslinger looked
as if he didn’t have a care in the world,
and it seemed as if to the gunslinger
the rest of the world could carry on their way
because he was lost in thought, in state,
and frozen in time, but like a performer at a carnival,
the gunslinger sat with a tin pot
just to the left of his right boot
asking politely of his generous passer-by
for a token of interest, fascination, respect,
and a thought to show that they care.

I sat in-awe of the gunslinger on a bench nearby,
and I even took a picture-
I felt like I was looking back in time,
or as if the gunslinger had been transported to the future,
to our present-
and as I sat looking at him, the sun shone brightly on him,
and made him glow even more golden,
and he looked even more amazing than he did before,
and even the sky above looked even more blue.
I thought long and hard about approaching the gunslinger
and putting some money in his pot,
and I wondered what he would do if I did-
would he lower his book? Draw his gun and take a shot?

The incredible living-statue of the gunslinger
that mesmerised me, painted head to toe in gold,
in himself was a work of art-
he was so brilliant to behold,
because as soon as I saw him I was instantly transported
back in time to my childhood,
and my fantasies of wanting to be a cowboy.
The Golden Gunslinger was like a living photograph
of a time of adventure and a reminder of the heroes
and out-laws that fill the stories of the Wild West
that once was in America that for so many
still holds a special place in their heart;
The Golden Gunslinger reminded me of how care-free
and amzing it is to a child, or someone who acts on and follows
their instinctual passions-
whether you are a man, or a woman, a girl, or a boy.

As time caught up with me,
even though in all the time I was sitting there looking at
the gunslinger he did not move an inch,
I realised that it was time for me to move on.
I decided to approach the gunslinger and give him a coin
from my pocket to repay him for his time,
his inspiration, his generosity, and his golden spirit,
and even as I got closer and closer
he still didn’t look up or look away from his book
and didn’t for a second flinch;
and then, as soon as my £2 coin hit the rest of the coins
in his golden pot and made a sound,
The Golden Gunslinger suddenly came alive
and he looked up at me-
he lifted his left hand to touch the rim of his Stetson,
he looked right into my eyes, and I saw him smile
without him having to move his lips at all,
and he bowed his head slightly,
and it was in that moment that I smiled too
in appreciation, and I too began to shine as the sun shone.

As I stepped back the gunslinger reverted back
to the pose in which I first saw him,
and he immediately went back to his prefered-posture
of reading his book, at-ease against the base of his tree;
while I turned to my right and continued to walk down the high-street-
I didn’t look back, but I knew and I was so glad to have met him,
to have given him my time, and for him to have given his time to me
and to everyone who saw him, because he reminded me
in lots of ways of myself, and he was obviously someone
of great patience and a deep-thinker.
I promised myself to capture this moment that would never come again
in as much detail and with as much meaning as I could,
and I also promised that I would never forget
The Golden Gunslinger.

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At the heart of the Pacific Ocean,
on an island removed and isolated from the outside world
the Moai statues of Easter Island-
standing tall, un-moving, carved in stone,
and even today their significance, their truth,
and their history is still being excavated, and unfurled-
still remain to be seen by all and marveled at
on this sacred ground from where they were sculptured,
that have stood for hundreds of years- each unique from the other-
embody the importance of lineage and ancestry,
and a story that can still be heard.
As they gaze inland
towards the direction to which the clan that first erected them once resided,
the islanders of Isla de Pascua
still today look in the direction of the great stone memorialized deities
that still watch over their island-
and even though they may not see them directly,
they can always picture them in their head.

I have always been fascinated by the moai statues-
how some once stood, were then topped, and were then risen again
to their rightful place;
I could never get enough of reading or hearing about
what they once meant to their people-
a constant reminder of a culture and face
that you cannot easily erase.

Remembering the past and retracing where we have all come from
is very important, and in doing so can teach you about yourself-
learning and discovering something about an ancestor of yours,
who was born somewhere far-away,
whose thoughts, actions, and decisions,
still live-on hereditarily and genetically in each one of us,
is as important to know as our own health.

I one day hope to be able to go somewhere,
find a monument to someone great, and discover-
like the Moai of Easter Island-
that this monument was carved for me to find, to see,
and to reconnect with a broken ancestry
that I can reforge, and call my own;
I hope one day to be able to hear the echoes of the past,
and see the light and the shadow of those who have passed, loud and clear-
and be reminded that although everything changes,
some things are forever set in stone.

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