Tag Archives: journey

Translating the Wind

11 Jun

somewhere between where I was and where I am going,

I reside

abandoning all other options

careless to the chaos of choice

the noise ceases and I am still

Oh restless heart, make peace with yourself

a decade ago I wandered from city to small town

overwhelmed by the meaning

in every place, person, and moment

every noun was a sign

nothing my senses experienced was an accident

I wrote like it was the only way I could see where I was going

and even though it tortured me

I knew I could exist in the moment

I knew Purpose

like sun and rain and soil

and it didn’t matter

that I only had if half-right

that I was cowering to fear

rowing against the waves

to an island I could never land on

Oh restless heart, stop for a moment and rest

at last the illusion broke

I screamed in a hotel room in China

I hated what my beliefs had made me

while loving grace for the lies it exposed

I fell apart and came together

I stood on a bridge far above snow covered streets

and knew impossible was nothing

a remaking of self

a transition from winter to spring

I guess I am not done yet

uprooting, planting, blooming

the layers that ultimately become my being

and I’ll keep going

wondering, wandering and questioning

even if I stay still

the Wind speaks and I can finally translate:

Oh restless heart, this is your home

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A Short History of Roads

6 Mar

Sometimes I have flashbacks of certain roads.

Maybe because I have spent so much time with them.

Living on them. Loving them. Hating them.

Wondering where certain ones will lead.

1.

Walking on a rocky dirt road with thick jungle to my right and a trash covered beach to my left.  My sense of adventure is heightened after hearing tales from an expatriate in a hostel of a black panther that stalks his home.

I am 23, and once again letting go at the life I thought I had. My hair is carelessly short, and I don’t do anything to tame it. I have no money in my bank account or future plans, other than a lofty desire to change the world through what I write.

I sit on the beach and write poetry. The words are naked and beyond me. The ocean waves break into my mind, affecting the cadence.

I have never felt so free.

2.

The road is ambling,  full of potholes and bumps from the harsh New England winters. The dirty river, which imagine to be chocolate, is eating away at the bank, causing the road to grow narrow as I grow taller.

I am eight, and my imagination takes me everywhere. I am an explorer, a sailor, an astronaut. I am abandoned on a deserted island with nothing but tree bark to survive on.

I am strong. I am well-loved. I am going to change the world.

3.

A decade later, I walk down a path in East Texas, intoxicated by fragrant white flowers that grow wild on bushes, their scent pushing its way into my broken heart, my guilty mind. I mutter prayers to myself, everything and anything, so desperately seeking God to make me better. I make my way into the pine woods, oblivious to the lengthening shadows and the dozens of things to accomplish the next day.

I am hungry, deep in the pit of my stomach. I am desperate to be more.

They say life is a journey, and I understand why.

I see my life so far in moments.

In places.

In walks down roads.

It is not a straight path or a  neat track where you can time and measure and compare your position to others before you cross a finish line.

Instead, it is a crooked path down a series of roads that seem sporadic and misguided, and if analyzed too deeply I may come believe I am lost.

But when I stop my analysis and close my eyes I once again become the first eight-year-old astronaut,

And as I blast off above the atmosphere, I take my gaze off the stars ahead and look down and see,

All roads interconnecting and intertwining and leading me to one place:

Here and now.

Let Me Tell You A Story

3 May

I am sitting down to write this morning because that seems to be the way I get my lungs and heart to work.

Writing sometimes feels like riding a stationary bicycle. You approach it with resistance, maybe a little boredom. You don’t really feel like you are getting anywhere, but later you feel the ache coupled with a sense of accomplishment.

You are getting stronger.

On better days you feel more like Captain Cook traversing over unknown lands, embarking on great adventures to go where no human has gone before.

At least, that’s what it seems,  until you see footprints in the snowy tundra.

Because really, there is nothing new under the sun.

But I don’t say that cynically.

The world can always be seen as new, it’s all a matter of whether we open our eyes or not.

So, as writers and artists we dare to portray ancient truths in new light. To make connections, build swinging bridges over deep and dangerous chasms.

We write to make sense of life. 

When you forget this, you begin to live like life isn’t very extraordinary. You begin to get into this routine, chugging through hours and days, waiting for something exciting to come your way.

You forget that being a writer and being an adventurer go hand-in-hand.

You realize you can make your own way,  so you do, slashing through thick proverbial jungle green, pointing out that bright yellow bird along the way.

“See that? Look at the way his feathers shine. Look! Look how those droplets of dew glisten in the sun on that green bud!”

 

 

And the party you are leading, (because you are never on this journey alone) “Ooh” and “Aww” because they were so focused on the mosquitos and overwhelming foliage they couldn’t see the beauty right in front of them.

And so eventually you come upon a clearing in a valley. Inevitably, somebody starts a fire. The weary travelers take off the loads they have been hauling and rest, staring into the flickering flames.

And you all feel like maybe you are just like  generations of people who lived this way, who found themselves journeying and  suffering and reminding each other of bright birds and water droplets right in front of them.

Then someone stands up, energized by thoughts of those that have gone before them, and speaks, those sacred, exciting, life-giving words,

 “Let me tell you a story…”

Then all goes silent.

Words tumble out, dancing upward with the firelight.

And the world becomes new.

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