I wrote about unburdening one’s self in Dancing With Your Skeletons. David Wagoner suggests something similar in this poem. Being present means being in the here and now and we are always a getting there and arriving. In getting there, it is important to keep the backpack light and dance with skeletons.
Somewhere in our journey, we lose the serious childlike playfulness we had when we were young. It is in being adults we journey with regret. The word journey is from the French journée which is less about the measure of time and about events contained in the day/jour. Adding née at the end makes jour into a gerund continuously recurring. It is a never-ending and unfolding, impossible to make sense of in the moment. Its time is immeasurable, only livable.
Née is being born as and in the living undertaken we are continuously being born in each event and each moment. In mindfulness, we journey without regret. The there we want is the next moment which continuously unfolds. Living is creating and becoming with welcome uncertainty and we only know we arrive when we arrive. It is unexpected.
You take a final step and, look, suddenly
You’re there. You’ve arrived
At the one place all your drudgery was aimed for:
This common ground
Where you stretch out, pressing your cheek to sandstone.
What did you want
To be? You’ll remember soon. You feel like tinder
Under a burning glass,
A luminous point of change. The sky is pulsing
Against the cracked horizon,
Holding it firm till the arrival of stars
In time with your heartbeats.
Like wind etching rock, you’ve made a lasting impression
On the self you were
By having come all this way through all this welter
Under your own power,
Though your traces on a map would make an unpromising
What have you learned so far? You’ll find out later,
Telling it haltingly
Like a dream, that lost traveler’s dream
Under the last hill
Where through the night you’ll take your time out of mind
To unburden yourself
Of elements along elementary paths
By the break of morning.
You’ve earned this worn-down, hard, incredible sight
Called Here and Now.
Now, what you make of it means everything,
Means starting over:
The life in your hands is neither here nor there
But getting there,
So you’re standing again and breathing, beginning another
Journey without regret
Forever, being your own unpeaceable kingdom,
The end of endings.