The great conundrums in life don’t
always come to a crossroads.
The big decisions rarely culminate
in a forked path that will render your fate.
We’re stressed by a world of binary divergences,
always ruing the roads left untraveled.
The toughest choices in life
are never about turning left or right,
then stumbling a little further ahead
until you come to the next split:
only to choose again and
choose again and
I’ve learned to accept indecision
as a necessary distillation
of the tension between living
and its infinite series
of one-chance choosings.
When you come to the crux
it’s best to retreat to the dark wood;
that rough undiscovered country
for which there are no printed maps
and the canopy of green blacks
out all guiding stars.
You cannot memorize this terrain.
Etch your marks on the tree bark in vain:
You cannot blaze a trail.
You won’t leave behind a trace.
You lack the skill to sketch your beloved’s face.
All efforts at capture are doomed to fail.
But all along the journey something is happening
as the vastness of unfamiliarity engulfs
(positional certainty unessential to the existential).
All those conjured mental maps de-materialize.
Your compass just spins
Stopping to lean against some old gnarled oak
or this chipped gray boulder,
to rest in the sun….
the weeds and trees and wildflowers
oblivious to your passing presence.
All paths are doomed to impermanence;
the forest is always closing in.
There are destinations that cannot be named.
There are routes that are only traveled once.
This is the end of a journey.
This is where it all begins.
Stopping is not a surrender;
if you don’t pause
the old ways can never be sundered
You have found your long lost home;
it was always present in the heretofore
wide, unroofed frontier of alone.
You don’t need to know where you are anymore
or where you are going….
It’s not about finding or choosing
but the prospect of being found.
You’ve seen the tracks,
heard branches snap;
you know someone is out there searching,
probing every square inch
of this primeval hinterland,
becoming more and more lost
in your endless uncharted wilderness.
This is where you will start your fire.
Send your plumes of smoke ever higher.