Traveling the US.
Unless you’ve done it, you don’t know what it is to be on the road for days, alone, your thoughts, all the should-haves, regrets, tears, sadnesses, festering. Your body vomiting itself, emptying, detoxing. If you think detoxing is drinking green juice and shitting, you’re right about the shitting- all the useless, fruitless garbage ingested over a lifetime, released. The lies. The lies you told yourself. The lies you believed. The faith of a child left behind. The bully image sent out ahead to keep people at arms length, its shadow swallowing, bogarting all the love and magic meant for you.
(Thinking how I dreamt a mangy, bone thin cat emerging from a dark underground, and it’s so ugly, malnourished, sickly, I can’t make myself look at it. We each know, see each other peripherally. That goddamn eight-lifer saunters past me with all the regal swag of a throat—crushing lion king. And I know who it is, what it is. It is me, dying in the life I am not living. And yet, miraculously I am still alive. I can be revived, transfused and transformed, if I am willing to let go and become.)
Because…. we want always to be going somewhere, where there is an end, an answer, a conclusion. A perfectly formed question and tidy answer.
These are not days lightly lived that pass without tearing the flesh, just a little. Instead you are aware of the length of the road, the sun sealing your eyes into a permanent squint, the whish whish of dotted white lines and forever electric cables. ….as you unfold your canned body for gas, water, to pee, gazing out over open space, whether dry, lush or condensed. There you are a quiet stranger alone in the tent of your own making, you step out but briefly into life. You will need a voice other than your own, that incessant speaker will only quiet once lulled to sleep when it tires of music, podcasts and wants only wind and windows open. Then like an animal, your animal, you will come alive. Sensate.
Beware upon “arrival”, ego will try to shuffle off a life. It will try to fool you with approximations, mirage, offering sameness, routine, drama, shallow plastic familiarity, acceptance. Don’t believe it. You have not arrived until you’ve shed shoes, clothes, vehicles, friends, family and even then you will still need to comb through what’s left…
1. I want to unfold.
2.I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
3. because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
4. and I want my grasp of things to be
5. true before you. I want to describe myself
6. like a painting that I looked at
7. closely for a long time,
8. like a saying that I finally understood,
9. like the pitcher I use every day,
10. like the face of my mother,
11. like a ship
12. that carried me
13. through the wildest storm of all.”
I was so sure the last few years of my life had been unmitigated failure.
(I am a fool…) and how will I ever actually know? I mean, what is failure but not getting back up. And no amount of pixie dust phrasing will change fathomless grace at the back of it, call it spirit, wisdom, moving me along when I believed I was dead wood, face down in the water.
I understand. This is a process, traversing the camino over and over, arriving and departing simultaneously.
I do know this,
1.“It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions,
2. to shed oneself downward like a tree,
3. to be almost wholly earth before one dies.”
to be continued