Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

pilgrim's progress

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

I’m persevering through this steady, upward climb. It’s a straight and narrow path, with more twists and obstacles than I’ve come prepared for. “You’re being set apart,” my guides say with weighed assurance. “Reaching the next peak is never an easy journey.” I nod in strained agreement, but find the ascension into greatness a bit more than I can handle. Former allies meet me on my way with gritted teeth that expose jagged grins and acidic words. When did friends become adversaries? Is this change of character recently acquired, or was I swayed long ago by attractive masks they wore?

On this course, my focus must never be pulled from the trail before me. Distractions tantalize me from my peripheral vision, and I stumble every time I turn my head to stare. I’m a weary traveler, and each step takes more determination than the one before it. The end feels no closer than it did ten miles before, and alternate paths flash at me like gaudy neon lights on the Vegas strip. How does one not get sidetracked on such a single-minded mission? Especially when the aligning forestry offers up both gratification and liberation from this longsuffering I endure.

Yet, despite their initial tantalization, I am not so enticed by these temptations. I have an assignment to complete, and a mountain to conquer. I promised my maker I would not waste time peering over my shoulder. I will not stop to lick my wounds, or drift around in my current surroundings. It is upwards and onwards, until I can no longer sense the burning in my thighs that escalating hikes are so notorious for.

I do not trek without aid, but sometimes I am lonely. Won’t you be my walking stick?

Friday, October 10, 2008

too much of water hast thou

"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

When I was small, I didn’t believe that people drowned. I thought they were merely escaping to some deep aquatic world hidden under the layers of sand. I’ve always gravitated toward the sea, and the sweet ecstasy it brings. There is no greater transcendence than a pair of lungs full of salty air and waves that nip at your ankles and toes. When I close my eyes and hear the gulls cry in the distance, I can almost picture the make believe sea town of my childhood. As I allow my imagination to roam free, I can faintly envision Ophelia and Virginia calling me to their underwater playground. They would have me retreat into the watery depths and be reborn into a mermaid.

So you see, when I ask you to take me to the sea it is only because you have touched me to the very core. You call me adorable and playfully stroke my chin. “What pretty hands you have,” you say in that tender, lulling tone. And when I am upset, “being flustered only makes you cuter,” is uttered from those lips. These words of yours are the oldest trick in the book, but they are winning me over all the same. Take me to the ocean and I’m yours.

I’m afraid that the sea could persuade me to do anything. It could convince me to throw myself into its waters. It could convince me to throw myself into your arms.