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Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2015

Opinion: Sam Blackwell's new journey

Thursday, March 27, 2008

For those of you who did not see Sam Blackwell's column in Thursday's Southeast Missourian, you may not realize he is embarking upon a third act in life as a university professor. Thankfully, his column will continue in the newspaper on a weekly basis - along with regular features about the arts scene and, hopefully, more.

Sam has had a special relationship with the Missourian, even from the day he was born. And few writers have been more beloved in the community for heartfelt insights and beautiful turns of phrase. He is, indeed, a poet, who has been masquerading as a richly talented journalist: inspirational, empathetic, and filled with a spirit that soars. His presence will be missed in the Missourian building; yet, his departure from the daily grind here represents a significant gain for Southeast Missouri State University and its students. It is a change both a bit sad and incredibly exciting. The best part, though, is that we'll still have his wonderful voice to look forward to, each Thursday, right where it belongs on the inside page of the Missourian. Thank you, Sam, for all you've done - and for what you're endeavoring to do.

Rumi says:

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,

it easily forgets her

and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,

then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light

and work your way toward wisdom

with no personal covering.

That's how you came here, like a star

without a name. Move across the night sky

with those anonymous lights.

(Mathnawi III, 1284-1288)

The name of this poem is: "A Star Without a Name". But we know, in truth, the star's name in this case. It is "Sam." And at the Missourian, for you, there will always be a home. Congratulations on Act III!


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Jon K. Rust
Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications. He serves on the board of directors for the Associated Press. A native of Cape Girardeau, he has lived and worked in New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Moscow, Russia.