Consider the possibility

It is impossible to stand at the feet of a mountain, untrembling.
But departure will do no good. The path,
catastrophic, claustrophobic as it is,
nevertheless begs us forward.
Look how it curls, a bent and beckoning finger, into the deeper woods.
Look how its ragged, ruthless stones resemble guideposts.
Don’t leave now.
Fold your shoulders under the brambles. The grazing will
make a mark and that will tell you how close
your own body is willing to come. This is no small thing.
This is the beginning
of everything.
You can find comfort in the most improbable places.
Don’t leave now.
Consider the possibility that you are already home.
Make a web of yourself.
It is here that the feast will fall.

– Maya Stein

Consider the possibility that I am already home.  This is the beginning of everything.  These words fall somewhere deep inside of me, beyond the realm of logic and intellect.  They quench some thirst I cannot articulate, some longing for home that I’ve circled around many times, here and elsewhere.

The path is, often, catastrophic and claustrophobic for me, intimidating and too-close at the same time, full of perils imagined and not.  And yet onward I walk, sometimes frustrated by a sense that I’m going in circles rather than moving forward, trying to accept the cycles of my life, to embrace all that is not at all linear about this life of the spirit.  I’m growing ever more certain that the central lesson is, at least for me, acceptance.  Yielding to what is, and to what is not, and to what will never be.  Leaning into the truth of my life even as I mourn those things that are not as I imagined them.

What if home was, all along, right here?  What if it is something I carried inside myself, all these years?  All of this searching, this sometimes frantic scrabbling, trying on of various hats and identities and shapes … all of it was for naught.  It was here all along, the jewel I sought so desperately.  But of course it was not for naught, I see that, of course I do: all of that effort helped bring me here.  Helped to bring me home.  And another thing I know for sure is that that effort and searching is not over now.  It will go on, and on, in the looping circular patterns that are at once inspiring and agonizing, full of the grandeur and terror of this world we live in.  Circling a mountain that is so majestic that it is impossible to stand untrembling.

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  1. Posted September 6, 2011 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    yes, i recognize the searching and striving pull, while i also feel the calling (and my resistance) to surrender to the right now, accept this moment as is, and rest in the arms of home. falling…

  2. Posted September 6, 2011 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    It is remarkable really how much your words speak to me. Today and honestly most others. I am so happy to be back in this beautiful corner of this odd and ethereal world reading your story, reading my story. Back to school, my friend.


  3. Posted September 6, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    What a gorgeous poem. I love the line about trying to see it as a beckoning finger–what a brilliant way to look at things. Welcome home!

  4. Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I believe this is true. I believe that we are all home, and also that we all will go on, circling our mountains, learning, stumbling and recovering, for all our lives.

    And I am really happy to be doing it in your company, Lindsey.

    Thank you.


  5. Posted September 6, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Home. Oh my goodness. This is Glorious. I needed these words today, my friend. Thank you for them. xoxo

  6. Posted September 6, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I have chills. Yes. Just … YES.

  7. Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I agree with your thought on acceptance as the central teaching. I find this to be true more and more everyday! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  8. Posted September 6, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Wow, I needed this. After 4 days back in California, Virginia seems like the furthest place from home I’ve ever been. Thank you for this poem!

  9. Christine Barker
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lindsey,
    Haven’t read you for a while so I caught up today…. looks like you had a good holiday, some much needed relaxation. Your thoughts are always so carefully processed, you are such a deep thinker,so solemn. I remember that process, the soul searching for just the right words and the precise description of a feeling and the nagging one that you will never see it quite right or be able to articulate what truly IS.
    Often, though, things just appear on the page… Reading the poem that starts today’s blog, got my poet brain working and as I glanced down the page I found another lurking in a list. So here’s a mostly “found poem” for you …by mostly you… with a very few additions by me. I hope it brings you a sense of lightness…

    moments of wonder
    the universe, coincidence
    & the bad guys
    there are so many ways
    to hide
    from your life
    I left a piece of myself there
    I was one of those kids
    everyday life is a practice and a poem

    at the foot of the mountain
    all that effort helped me find home
    in my own skin

  10. Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad I found your blog. I don’t know when next I’ll see the Mead girls, but until such time, I cannot tell you how much satisfaction it brings me to read of them.

    The topic of “coming home” and what home really is is one I wrestle with periodically, especially thanks to my husband’s career and our many moves.

    I am constantly trying to define what home is — for me and for my girls — if it is not a physical place. If it is, instead, the things that we do and the things that we are.

    If we really can accept that home is something within us, then we can take it with us no matter where we move.

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