Letting Go into the Future

article-0-18C5EC1600000578-119_964x622There is an image. It goes with the oft-quoted David Whyte lines, from his poem The Journey:

You are not leaving.
You are arriving.

You arrive more than once. And this requires iterations of leaving, the past sometimes rushing up like a wave from the ocean of memory, all white water and gasping. The place you arrive is not nearby; it is here. It requires only that you return, one by one, the collection of shells and stones from so many walks on this shore before now.

What I mean to say is this: the future you imagined is your life. And still, you imagine another one, a different one, always looking to get closer to that illusive someday. But sit here long enough and the seasons will shift a thousand times, the margins will become as wide as the horizon and the sky will absorb your sadness and drench you in brief, raging rains.

The future can’t find you when your back is turned. It must see your face, vulnerable and forward-facing. Carry nothing but gratitude for every single moment that landed you here, and soon, put that down, too, until you are as empty as the wind, until you are the wind itself, until you find yourself speaking a vast molecular language of the body that begs you to listen.

You are not leaving, because you already left. Rather than punish yourself, break into a run, a gallop, a tearing open into the promises that became shattered glass on the porch. Stop walking the plank and sweep the porch instead, pouring your heart into the day that has greeted you, your oldest friend, where the end meets the beginning, and the beginning begins.

Image by Jason deCaires Taylor, from his 2013 sculpture installation at the Museo Subacuatico de Arte


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