I was thinking about how often I rationalized staying in St. Louis, and working in the political world, even though I knew it wasn’t right for me, and the path I’m on now was always calling. So I started scribbling this morning on a smoke break and this came out.
I walk, and as I do it all lifts off of me.
I roar into the surrounding wilds,
and whimper as it roars back at me,
A combined strength built of bird calls and running water,
and any other creature that wants to lend its voice.
I am small, and unnecessarily defiant of the paths I walk through.
I snarl at the falling leaves,
and cloy at the fog as it envelops me.
I cannot understand why it lays this assault against me,
Nor can I stop raising my voice in defiance of it.
So I walk, and as I do it all lifts off me.
I am older now by days or weeks,
The nights have run together with the days.
I have tried to maintain my rage against this wild thing,
This ever closing pincer that seeks to shut me within it.
I still cannot fathom it’s intent,
And after so long walking I do not care to.
I simply resist for resistance’s sake.
I thrash against vines as they lay in wait for me,
Entangling arms and binding windpipe.
I am losing this fight,
This act of being apart from the wild that is around me.
But still I walk, and as I do it all lifts off me.
I do not think of days or nights,
Only of walking and my aching bones.
I have grown ancient and tired,
And it would seem the wild is overtaking me.
But with age comes wisdom and understanding,
So the sages say.
I resisted to resist,
Without knowing fully what I was shaking off my back.
The roar I heard so many years ago was not meant to threaten,
Only meant to invite me into the choir.
To add my howls to the growing chorus,
To make the wild that much louder.
I was offered a place in the fold and ignored it.
I could have raised my voice in unison with the gentle wild,
Could have had it all taken off of me willingly,
Instead of shrugging it off piecemeal for the wild to pick up later.
But I am old now and the walk has lifted it all off of me,
So now I whimper beneath an ash tree,
Adding what little voice I have left to the wild’s call.
I feel the vines grow down from above,
Not to choke or bind,
But to draw me into themselves,
And up into the oak.
All the fight finally taken from me,
And understanding to replace it.
The wild called me,
Said “join your roar with mine”,
And I resisted to resist.
So now I lay, beneath this ash,
And as I do it all lifts off of me.