by Charlene Anderson
There are rough roads and winding roads,
roads that take you home
and roads that help you steal away again.
There are roads that steer you through the purely physical—
Albuquerque, Indianapolis, Minneapolis.
And roads that swirl you through the metaphysical—
Meditation, Contemplation, Transubstantiation.
Some say life itself is a road.
It begins at birth,
meanders through quiet meadows,
darts through mountain passes, plunges down rockfaces;
and at death
flushes you out into a featureless and endless,
unknown and utterly unknowable sea.
I need the road that starts even farther back
at that point outside of time where I first came to be,
trails through wispy nothingness up to the moment of birth,
zigzags through this warren we call life, and continues after death,
so when this life is done, wading waist-deep in darkness,
I’ll have a trail to lead me on from there.
Since, like it or not, aware of it or not,
I’m already on that longer, more comprehensive road,
surely it would help to know its full parameters,
to have a decent roadmap,
and most especially,
to be consciously aware I’m there.
With more knowledge of the entire span of my existence,
the journey might be different—
my footfalls firmer,
the mountain passes less precipitous,
and tumbling down a rockface,
more a slippage than a fall.
It’s impossible to know. But one thing is for sure:
with that extended range of sight,
there’d have to be more meaning to the journey,
and that road—that life—
long, erratic and largely incomprehensible as it would still be,
would to a correspondingly greater degree,
be my own.
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