Once skiing

The chitter chat of ice will haunt me for years:
I spent a week up on that mountain
and never once did I get my edge back.

We do not, in our wisdom, think these things timely
and more fools for that are we.
It is—when we want itwhat we make it
and only then what we want it to be.
But listen:

It wasn’t the slope, it wasn’t my age,
and it wasn’t for lack of trying.
It was only what it ever is
and it only ever is me and the mountain
and that moment, that perfectly smooth
infinitely graceful, deliciously sweet moment
of surrender,
when I recall most well what being out there
on that edge is
and when I really get it back.

I love to ski. I am not particularly good at it, but what I lack in style and ability I make up for in enthusiasm and spending. So that week in Maine, when for some odd reason I could not get into the groove of it, really sat on my mind. The weather was much of the problem it is true. It rained and then turned very cold; the chitter chat of my skis sliding over ice patches was true enough.

But that wasn’t the whole story. The real issue was that during that trip, I wanted the skiing to feel a certain way and when it wasn’t feeling that way I was disappointed. What I should have been doing was let it feel the way it felt; then I should have just accepted it for what it was. Detachment—living in the moment and not trying to force an outcome—is never easy.

Thank you for reading Once skiing. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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