Zone

 

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Zone

There is this special place
That a goalie can call his own
It is in a vacuum of concentration
Known only as…”the zone”.

It’s a place of reflex, and of clarity
Where any mistake is an extreme rarity
Where you are certain that you’ll be tough to beat
Where your blades feel sharp under your feet
Where all of the dekes are easily read

Where your every reaction is two steps ahead
Where you find every shot through any screen
Where you sense it coming when it’s sight unseen
It’s where every opening becomes a closed door

Where a save, and a rebound, lead to one more
Where, if they are lucky, they may hit the post
Where it’s a party for none, and you are the host
They are in your house, and you are a wall

And the little black disc looks like a huge ball
You find yourself there, and you don’t ask why
It’s the place where slap shots will go to die

It is that perfect place
Where a shutout is never blown
The land of thwarted opportunity
Known simply as…”the zone”.

The place where the elusive backhand is easy to follow
Where victory draws nearer with every swallow
Where they purposely bump you and you don’t care
Where the blank scoresheet matches your blank stare
A place where your confidence is at its peak

With a solid foundation, and nary a leak
Where you manage to anticipate their every maneuver
Where you are the Hoover Dam, and a damn Hoover
It’s where you’re never the goat and only a hero

Where there are zero bad goals because the goal is zero
It’s sixty or more minutes at the top of your game
Where starter and stopper are one and the same
If you are there only once in your entire career

You’ll remember that feeling and will hold it near
You’ll remember sitting in the room, filled with pride
With you and perfection, sitting side by side

 It is a uniquely sacred place

Where the tender crouches alone
Accompanied by only his focus
The unholiest of places…”the zone”.

 

 

 

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5,000

 

During World War II, starting in the winter of 1940-41, in and around the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered…by 5,000 Christians.

The Protestant Huguenot villagers, mostly poverty-stricken themselves, protected the Jews at the risk of their own lives. Every home took in Jews, fed and protected them, right under the noses of the Gestapo. They were often hidden in the countryside when the authorities came to investigate. For four years they defied the Nazi régime and a French government that was collaborating with the Nazis. The citizens of Le Chambon sheltered these strangers, educated their children, and arranged for hundreds to flee to Switzerland or Spain via an intricate, wooded, underground escape route.

True to their beliefs, some citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon penned a letter to the Nazi-influenced Vichy government, feeling spiritually obligated to admit that they were indeed sheltering Jewish refugees. They were clearly defiant in their determination to protect them – “We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews…whose only fault is to be born in another religion…We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

No resident of Le Chambon, it is believed, ever turned away or betrayed a single Jewish refugee.

            “I do not know what a Jew is.  I know only human beings.”
André Trocmé, the Huguenot pastor of Le Chambon

5,000
They were welcomed

  Given shelter and refuge
  Without hesitation.
O
n the edge of violence.

Protected, without question
  Given food and a future
  At the risk of everything
I
n open defiance.


One life saved, f
or every hero
From a man
From a horrific plan
From a power, aiming for zero

Five thousand.
Spared a hateful demise
Five thousand.
Strong and assured
Five thousand.
Sharing one single purpose
Five thousand.
  And no one said a word.


Hiding strangers

Sharing what little they had
 Without hesitation
For a number of years.

A beacon of hope
  Sharing an indomitable spirit
  Without reservation
A
nd despite their fears.


Committed, as one, to uphold humanity

To do what was right
To the preservation of life 

 An immaculate deception, in the face of the enemy

Five thousand.
Hidden amongst them
Five thousand.
Their c
onviction, silently heard
Five thousand.
Sharing one selfless will
Five thousand.
  And no one said a word.

                                        Gary Greentree


Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice…for they will be satisfied.”
-André Trocmé

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