It is impossible to stand at the feet of a mountain, untrembling.
But departure will do no good. The path,
catastrophic, claustrophobic as it is,
nevertheless begs us forward.
Look how it curls, a bent and beckoning finger, into the deeper woods.
Look how its ragged, ruthless stones resemble guideposts.
Don’t leave now.
Fold your shoulders under the brambles. The grazing will
make a mark and that will tell you how close
your own body is willing to come. This is no small thing.
This is the beginning
You can find comfort in the most improbable places.
Don’t leave now.
Consider the possibility that you are already home.
Make a web of yourself.
It is here that the feast will fall.
Consider the possibility that I am already home. This is the beginning of everything. These words fall somewhere deep inside of me, beyond the realm of logic and intellect. They quench some thirst I cannot articulate, some longing for home that I’ve circled around many times, here and elsewhere.
The path is, often, catastrophic and claustrophobic for me, intimidating and too-close at the same time, full of perils imagined and not. And yet onward I walk, sometimes frustrated by a sense that I’m going in circles rather than moving forward, trying to accept the cycles of my life, to embrace all that is not at all linear about this life of the spirit. I’m growing ever more certain that the central lesson is, at least for me, acceptance. Yielding to what is, and to what is not, and to what will never be. Leaning into the truth of my life even as I mourn those things that are not as I imagined them.
What if home was, all along, right here? What if it is something I carried inside myself, all these years? All of this searching, this sometimes frantic scrabbling, trying on of various hats and identities and shapes … all of it was for naught. It was here all along, the jewel I sought so desperately. But of course it was not for naught, I see that, of course I do: all of that effort helped bring me here. Helped to bring me home. And another thing I know for sure is that that effort and searching is not over now. It will go on, and on, in the looping circular patterns that are at once inspiring and agonizing, full of the grandeur and terror of this world we live in. Circling a mountain that is so majestic that it is impossible to stand untrembling.