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Posts Tagged ‘journey’

Today It Occurs to Me

Not all journeys require leaving the house.

  Just this morning, I followed the hummingbird

    as it circled the feeder, then flew to the flowerbed

      and slipped its long beak into red nasturtiums.

And last night I wandered the garden rows,

  pulling long carrots and thick round beets,

    attending to the slow journey of ripening.

And all summer I follow the thin trail of loss,

  how it leads me from one sorrow to another

    my heart breaking open and then more open

      then impossibly more open.

And all this sheltered summer, I navigate moments of beauty—

  when I laugh at dinner until I fall off my chair,

    mornings when the river runs startlingly clear,

      the blue of larkspur, double rainbow over the drive,

        the tender silence inside the shouting—

          follow these moments like cairns in the wilderness,

            that lead always to exactly where I am.

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Who is this woman so concerned with arrivals?

Doesn’t she know we are writing about paths?

What is her rush to get to the meadow?

What does she think she will find there?

She missed the sunflowers in the garden,

a whole row of luscious bright yellow bloom.

She missed the chatter of the chipmunk,

the hot scent of rabbit brush almost like sage,

the mica glistening like crushed starlight beneath her feet.

She is like one of those trucks on the highway,

a blur, a roar, an impersonal thundering.

Oh, see, now that she thinks she’s arrived somewhere,

now she starts noticing the field,

the crunch of dry grass, the dirt, her own short shadow.

Funny, she looks lost, standing there with her pen and paper,

her longing to find something worthwhile to say.

Should we tell her it’s okay,

that the lack of arrival could be her new point A?

And everywhere she looks, a new path.

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One Journey

this crumb trail of syllables

worthy of decade-long explorations—

your name

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Off the Path

 

 

On the path, I am the one

who forgets to look up—

 

the one who doesn’t see the mountain

because I am focused on the path.

 

I am the one who fears the dead end,

who worries and obsesses about it,

 

only to discover it wasn’t an end at all,

just a sharp turn, and the path goes on.

 

I am the one who fears she’s not good enough

for this path, who wonders if there’s another path

 

somewhere that I am supposed to be on.

Everyone else seems to know where they’re going.

 

I can’t even seem to spot the signs.

Confused, I stop, which allows me

 

to notice the weeds gone to seed,

notice their tiny white globes, notice

 

how good it feels to stop

and notice them. I am the one who

 

cares so much about the path and still

fails at staying on it. In fact,

 

the more I pay attention, the more

I am the one who forgets there is a path.

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Bushwhack

 

 

I followed the road as if it were a teacher.

It went up, I went up. It turned, I turned.

It was a long time before I relearned

that the road is not the only way to go.

The first day I walked away from the gravel,

I fell. That was the day I learned

staying upright is not what’s most important.

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One Continuation

 

 

returning from the journey,

as if the return isn’t also

a journey—

as if this journey called home

isn’t also riddled with wonder, surprise

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That’s what cars are for,

said the master whistler, when I told him

I could not whistle.

I auditioned for him

with my one-note draft,

and he said, Yeah, I

can work with that,

which I took to mean

that I could work with that.

Eventually, he said,

you’ll arrive at a tone.

And so I whistled

four hours as I drove north,

starting with Moon River,

Skylark, and Paris in Springtime,

then, demoralized

by lack of progress,

turned on the eighties station

and created a breeze

to accompany INXS, Howard Jones,

Prince and Tone Loc.

The difference between

what I heard in my head

and what came from my lips—

so much beauty

missing. And just

before arriving at my own

front door, I had somehow

begun a gusty rendition

of When the Saints Go Marching In,

and thought to myself,

yeah, I think I might

be getting it, but five

verses later laughed

at my longing for success.

When I opened the door

of the car, I felt the wind

meet my face. I let it

carry the almost notes

and decided tomorrow

I’d try some Moondance

and Fever before Hot Cross Buns,

knowing how it takes

a lot of wind

before one’s ship comes in.

 

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All This Time

 

 

 

calling it a journey

when we have never

stopped arriving

 

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Though you may not come home happy,

you do come home changed.

That is what the trip was for.

 

The door is the same. The handle,

the same. Same couch. Same lamp.

Same chair. But the one who opens

 

the door is not the same as before.

You can pretend if you want.

Most do: Act the old way until

 

they forget they are new.

Sometimes, the change takes charge.

Sometimes it invites itself

 

to dinner. And then breakfast.

By lunch, even the dishes are wondering

what will happen next.

 

(my son just returned from 10 days at camp–wow, what a difference 10 days can make!)

 

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Perspective

 

 

I’ve got a wide, a wide river to cross.

            —“Wide River to Cross” by Julie Miller, Steven P. Miller

 

 

Perhaps when the river

we must cross is so wide

and the journey

to just to get to the river is so long

that our legs and arms are weary

before we even reach the shore,

perhaps that is when

it helps to remember

that the heart is infinite

in how much it can love,

and dang if that journey

across the river

doesn’t seem all that far

after all and the body

shudders and trembles

finds a way to take

one more step, and

one more step.

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