Where you draw your line

No matter how short you think it is
told true, the trail is always long.
If you want to know what it all means,
it means exactly and only what you think it does:
you do not hike a path, you blaze it as you go.

So do not talk of the distance you’ve trod
but of the way you’ve left to go.
And if by that you think I am telling you
what I want, you are correct: I want exactly
and only what you think I do—
you do not want in vain, it burns you as you go.

This is how I make the miles of a long hike disappear, by writing poetry in my head. It doesn’t do a lot for my practice of mindfulness, but it sure can make a trail go faster.

Human beings are such curious things. How much do we yearn to be safe and careful and free of worry and doubt? How much do we fear the unknown, when it is in the unknown that we find our strength, our purpose? How often do we do and want things that are inimical to our well-being? I am as puzzled by me as you are by you and as we all are by each other.

Thank you for reading Where you draw your line. 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.

john

© 2013 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: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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7 Comments

Filed under Poetry

7 responses to “Where you draw your line

  1. I’m glad to see this – the writeup too is very interesting. Nice work, John 🙂

    Elizabeth

  2. Intriguing. Great post John.

    Warm regards,
    mei

    • Mei,

      Thank you! And I have read your work with great admiration. You, I know, are not sitting on a couch anywhere, you are out on your own “hike”!

  3. Really interesting poem and loved your thoughts afterwards

    “I do not have any solutions here, I am as puzzled by me as I am sure you are as puzzled by you, as we all are puzzled by each other.”

    This holds such truth to me! Puzzled and continually amazed.

    • You know, the truth is, I almost never published this poem, and probably would not have except for the encouragement of another poet from my poet’s circle. Isn’t that odd? What held me back was that I was unsure of how to describe it. I knew it meant something to me, but I wasn’t sure I could articulate it. Thank you so much for your very, very kind comments. They mean a lot!