Sparked by Words

An Arrow Shot Blind

I miss the mark because I don’t understand what the target should be. How can I land a bull’s eye when I have no idea what to aim for? All I’m doing is shooting an arrow to the place hidden from my sight.

Yet it’s my shadow hiding the mark. If I move, if I change, if I soften my heart, if I open my eyes, maybe I will see. Then I might aim well enough.

It will be in your reflection I will know if I’ve triumphed. Your smile, your glow, your pulse. Your gifting hands, your willowed spine.

My cleansed sinew. My renewed spirit.

What glory then for the medal I no longer need to win.



Just a thought 60


Painting Archers by Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. This photographic reproduction is considered to be in the public domain in the United States.






Comments on: "An Arrow Shot Blind" (38)

  1. “Shadow hiding the mark.” Interesting idea Sharon. How often does my fear shadow conceal the target? I’m so anxious about missing the target that I can’t see what I’m aiming for.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. It reminds me of Psalm 37 “Do not fret — it only causes harm.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your interpretation is interesting but it was not my intent. Translation of Psalm 37 from Hebrew is: Do not be vexed by evil men. The poem isn’t about evil in any form but about missing that which is good because of our own self doubts getting in the way of seeing others for their better selves – and missing our own better selves in the process.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. But did it hit your target or not? Hmm???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sharon, deep and poignant you write about our difficulty seeing clear in times
    of fear or stress. I do love this :
    ” It will be in your reflection I will know if I’ve triumphed. Your smile, your glow, your pulse. Your gifting hands, your willowed spine. ”

    Thank you


    Liked by 3 people

  5. Relating to this feeling, Sharon, including all the interesting comments. The last line is most powerful, though. So true!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love the idea of a shot in the dark using a bow and arrow, rather than a gun. I dabbled in archery in college and found I had an aptitude and skill for it. One cannot aim for the far away target directly, but up and away to account for the flight of the arrow as gravity takes over. Just my thought of your thought…permission to regroup!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m smiling at your college story. I was always a bona fide lousy athlete, though I loved dance and was an excellent ballerina as a kid. I hated and still hate the phoniness of competition and I dreaded trying to learn skills other kids already excelled at. But the one high school sport I was very good at was archery. I figured out early how to aim the arrow so it arched (see how the name of the sport is reflected in its action!) and nearly always made a bull’s eye.

      Thanks for your enriching addition to the poem, Terri. It’s always a bonus to see what readers get out of what I write.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. often I find that I’m fortunate for some of my wishes having gone unfulfilled…


  8. Sharon I could be completely off the mark, but this makes me think of the years I wasted not sending out queries for my novels because of fear of failing. And honestly, this may sound odd to you, but sometimes for fear of succeeding and the compromises that will come with it.

    Fear can so cripple us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is only when you accept who you are, that you can be who you want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “it’s my shadow hiding the mark”- lovely! Really thought provoking piece!


  11. “All I’m doing is shooting an arrow to the place hidden from my sight”
    I especially like that (and of course the last line as well) 🙂 Cheers!


  12. There are so many wonderful lines in this poem Sharon. Your own shadow hiding what there is to see – how often this is true. But being able to change where your shadow falls is perfect. It is up to us to let go of all our preconceived self-talk and see without that shadow and that final line – you don’t need to take aim and fire because you can see you have already made your mark. This puts me in mind of a fuller, thought provoking cupid story. Loved it.


  13. This poem has provoked quite a lot of different takes, Shari which in my mind always makes it one of the best. I was especially touched by that last line in this one – I’ve always been quite ambitious, often not for my own good, I fear, but every once in a while I was rewarded not by the medal or good mark or whatever it was that I was aiming for, but by the experience that led to it.


    • What a wonderful comment, Sarah. I agree that many reactions expressed about one short article might indicate value in the original. Poetry (though I don’t consider An Arrow Shot Blind a poem, several readers do) intentionally leaves much space to intuit meaning. It’s also my intent with anything in my Just a Thought series for readers to input their interpretation, and their comments are rewarding.

      Fear is the shadow that causes us to lose sight of our goal. I’ve always believed that the journey is everything, and being open to possibility makes the journey even grander. It doesn’t really matter where we get to as long as we keep traveling.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hmmm…like you, archery was one of the few sports I was good at. (I just never really cared that much what happened to the ball. Any ball.)

    Although I would respectfully disagree that it does matter where we’re going, as long as we’re flexible about the idea of destination.

    If fear is hiding the target, then for me this piece is about courage, maybe even just the simple courage that I sometimes lack to reach out to others. Working through fear is an incredible release, and it fits well with the idea of a renewed spirit.


    • Cathleen, you’ve made a wonderful contribution to the conversation about this poem. I taught art to kids for many years and when working with children, it’s the journey that really counts. I understand your POV however.


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