Off The Beaten Path

When the path ignites a soul, there’s no remaining in place. The foot touches the ground, but not for long.

Most people—by which I mean most of us who grew up on the outskirts of the American Dream—grow up, get an education, find a steady job, and then after time has passed, maybe fall in love and get married.

Yet in reality I started working at the ripe old age of fifteen years old, fell in love numerous times, married twice, partied like a cliché, and never managed to graduate.

In other words, the order I have chosen to live my life is well on the opposite end of normal and most, more than likely, consider crazy.

Since my adolescent years, even before surrendering my childhood to puberty, I’ve despised the idea of working a stagnant, nine-to-five, cubicle ridden job.

I mean hell, I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. I found it fitting for my personality, all winded and flown. Maybe that is why I have come to admire writing so much, because these words often carry my mind away with them, while giving flight to my soul.

In my late teens and early twenties, after I had managed to burn a few bridges with some that were close to me, as well as the local law enforcement, I was eager to find my way elsewhere, and I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see me on my way.

So after much deliberation as to what I wanted to be at the age of twenty-three, I decided to head west to try and figure it all out. I went in search of a place where I could find and be myself tried and true. I went looking for me.

It was a simple, rather happy-go-lucky sort of idea: running away from all that you know, on the prowl for a freedom that had its roots firmly embedded beneath a dream bound by a white-picketed fence with a few beautiful children running wild, all the while living a life so carefree.

But I didn’t necessarily want the security of mediocrity, or at least that was what I told myself. I found that I was at ease on the road. Something about it felt like home. I was relaxed, readily patient to find my niche, no matter what it took.

It was then that I found myself forty-two hundred miles away from my home. The first leg of the search for myself had led me to Denali, AK. I had one friend at my side, only to be surprised as I stumbled upon the lifelong kind of friends when I arrived.

Still I was sort of terrified, yet somewhat excited about having not any idea as to what my future held, or what I might find. That summer is still etched with perfection amongst the canyons of my mind. The winds of life had carried me to the place I was supposed to be. I was at home not knowing where I was going next, and it was an ecstatic feeling.

There was nowhere to go but everywhere to be, so I just kept rolling right along through life like a star shooting through the night. Little did I know though that I would soon find a place where my restless carbon dusted bones could settle down for awhile. It was soon thereafter my time in Alaska, I found my way to the place I have called home for almost eighteen years now, that being Lake Tahoe.

There was a budding counterculture vibe taking root in Tahoe back then, still is, and probably was long before I arrived. It was a vibe that vibrated deep in the depths of my magnetic soul. I felt like a cicada longing for the light of paradise in the night, I couldn’t contain myself. It was my kind of place and I didn’t want to leave.

I managed to lockdown a steady job playing Chef at a little off the beaten path ski resort, just south of Tahoe, nestled away in the beautifully serrated Sierra Nevada.

Even back then, not so long ago, at the turn of the century, a place like Lake Tahoe cost a lot less to live than it does today, though it was quite easy to exceed the cost of any given liver on any given day. Life was wild, livable and lackadaisical, always on the go just to slow it down.

But I was always broke, working like a slave on a snow farm, all so I could afford to stay comfortably alive, while wetting my whistle with the blowing winds of adrenaline, if you know what I mean? Man is quite the universally thirsty race. Always thirsting for something one doesn’t need.

Lost souls like my own were running from all corners of the country to this metaphoric fountain of youth, on the hunt for just a hint of never-ending bliss.

My newfound friends and I were hellbent and determined to live a not so ordinary life far and away from any attachment, for a life we could call our own.

Yes indeed, life was headed in the right direction of love and light. I had found my niche. Yet even still, knee deep in myself and paradise, something was missing.

I soon began to realize that no journey carries one as far unless, as it extends into the wild around us, and that is as far as it goes into the wilderness within.

Before I continue the journey, now is the time that off the beaten path these written thoughts of mine must go…

All throughout time, yet not so much as of late, man has been eagerly pursuing, ever so curious at the precise whereabouts of “Heaven on Earth.” This exact curiosity could, and should be applied to ole Christopher Columbus. When he set sail upon the ocean blue, he went looking for bliss, in search of a different kind of freedom, and by God, he found it.

While the pilgrims brought with them bits and pieces of purity, scattered about spirituality, they also brought with them violence and supremacy. Let’s be honest, Plymouth Rock stood as promised with the poise of paradise and the white man was going to call it his own at whatever cost. And to make sure to institutionalize paradise, they, of course, quickly created a bank and a university.

Still spiritual men and sacred clerics throughout history believed without knowledge—even warning those on the hunt for something else—that to be aware of a certain inner kingdom was the foundation of freedom long built in a man’s heart. And to find that freedom, man had to travel to all ends of the earth just to find himself. And just as Augustine spoke of the path, “it is not with steps, but with yearnings,” to truly find one’s self.

See the journey has always been about moving away from one’s “fallen” condition. The condition in which we are not free to be who we are to be without the need to please. You see, freedom is about the journey and not the arrival. And to finally come to understand that after all this time…

Paradise simply exists in you, the person, the self, the untethered soul, but mind you, it is the radical self in its uninhibited freedom. It’s the beast, stripped of pride, no longer weighed down by the winter clothes of ego, call it a spiritual and enlightened nakedness if you’d like.

It’s instinct unleashed. It’s the soul set free from one’s own stupendous ways. It’s a light within that rises with the sun upon the land of milk and honey. It’s an inner salvation that shivers ticklish up the spine.

Yet how I came to the realization of all of this took thousands of petty mistakes along this journey through the depths of myself. And if I may be exact, it was up until this precise moment. Better late than never one would guess.

Til the next time…

—BeLove

After Life

“In every waking man, death dreams asleep.”

At this particular moment I must, almost in the delivery of a confession, without conviction, say that I do not consider that my birth began my original existence. Not yours. Not anyone’s. 

On creative grounds, if on nothing else alone, I cannot accept the view of death taken by most everyone, and taken by myself for most of this life—on creative grounds I am therefore obligated to oppose that something so extraordinary as a human soul can be wiped away forever.

No, our dead are about us, shut off only by our metaphysical denial of them. It is as we lie nightly in our own little astral hemispheres asleep by the billions, our dead approach us in our dreams, sharing certain ideas upon the spectrum of our souls. It is possible that the dead may consider these ideas to be their nourishment.

And maybe, just maybe, it is that by seeing these ideas in our dreams come to life is all they really want in the realm of Eternity.  And just like this particular idea of mine, all of our ideas could be considered as these sort of fallen leaves that maturity transforms within us as we approach the autumn of our lives.  

Our souls are fields of fallen leaves that cover this life with layers of metaphor and spirituality. And there are times when we may find ourselves barren with boredom, and instead of getting creative to pass the time, we starve these ideas of our dreams with the aridity of our own doubt. We let them dry up and wither away, which yields our dead from ever harvesting the sweetness of life again, and this our dead do not like.

And for some of us, the time comes in our life that we burn a lamp upon our fields of ideas so that our dreams may set our soul ablaze.  It is damn near dreadful to think of waiting for our dreams to illuminate our natural lives with all that is love and light. Especially when time has become of the essence of all that is oh so precious. So instead of think, one must light the flame in the cavern of their soul and see what shows itself.

It is by setting fire to our souls we see that the flames of divine love burn on the pyre of fervor, as our wildest dreams come to life. This is the ethereal eagerness of creative development, that burning of the mind that wipes the slate clean kind of thing.

But to take a seat and watch this short little life pass us by without looking to leave behind some kind of mark is to invite death on our way to rock bottom, only to shorten the timing of its demanding pursuit.

Don’t kid yourself though; the dead are with us, protecting us, living with us in our dreams, and within our hearts they live through us.  They are always watching over us on this spun little sphere, which is our institute of freedom.  In the next frontier, things are much more cosmic and clear; the kind of wide-open clarity that eats into freedom with a certain balance of bliss.

We are free on this earth because of cloudiness, because of human error, and because of marvelous contradiction of law and limitation. It is as much because of beauty and goodness as it is because of the blindness of evil. These have always gone hand and hand with freedom. Good and evil, like life and death, are two sides of a coin placed long ago in the mouth of the Departed.

If we lived only one of our days to the fullest, filled with consciousness and goodness, we would find the density of an entire lifetime in the simplicity of one day.  But we have become so intricately dispersed with our distracted recreations that natural life must allow us tens of thousands of days so that we may finally come to understand…

“In every waking man, death dreams asleep.”

But there is hope for us yet, and it sleeps in the possibility to be more profound than we were long before and way beyond that of good and evil. 

For now though that is all I have to say about this matter. The songbirds are rustling in the distance, the sun soon to waken. Besides, all of these thoughts about a dream of death are likely to be nothing but a waste of breath, and now the time has found me in a hurry, under such pressure—all this unfinished business.

BeLove

As Within, So Without

Silence merely whispers at the edge of eternity, like a light fringe of foam at the lip of a wave.

He stands toward the stars, staring stoned with a suffered gaze. The thoughts that cradle his imagination are being spoiled with over processed knowledge. At least this is what he thinks, and this thought alone is diluted. This exact moment’s perception of himself clenches at him like the white-knuckled clasp of a man gone mad behind the wheel of desire. He knows this inward perception of him is self-inflicted from the sound of his own inner voice—that parasitical ego—dancing mad through the tranquility of his inner peace.

He knows it will pass, much like the forgiveness of time, tomorrow holds the key to the land of milk and honey.  But like desire, these spells of self-destruction were beginning to wreak havoc down every avenue in the city he calls life—his thoughts were becoming more congested, which in turn, brought everything to a standstill. Above and beyond all reasoning, he needed direct knowledge where subject and object coincided with perfection, or else risk confusing the moon with his own finger pointing at it.

He knows that all of this suffering is self-catapulted upon the sandcastle of his own conscious. As the castle erodes, should he have to rebuild it with chaos? He sometimes thinks so, but he knows that a sandcastle made of chaos is just a few farts in the wind away from his mind being turned to dust. He must settle down and allow the chaotic cloudiness to clarify itself within him via extended contemplation. Which bear in mind, he had been skimping on. The things that make you go, hmm?

He always knew the wounds of life would heal with a slight scar. That he would eventually fall back into the flesh of his own Being. Still he would always scratch at the scars upon his soul, with the sole intention of aggravating the past.  From this, his psyche would never be the same, yet his thoughts told him that by revisiting the past, it might somehow send him spiraling towards the future.  

While the possibility of this does exist, the depths at which he would need to seek within himself would take him deeper into the wilderness in which he already sits.  This is something he believes that he is not yet fully prepared for, but we’ve yet to see the final score.  The path is there, a bit hidden and maybe arid, but there nonetheless.  Will he really ever know where it goes?  In all honesty, he hasn’t a clue, but this is no longer a concern of his, only His. 

A Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

He understands that the spiritual passage is not for the faint of heart.  It’s just as well he knows that from the beginning of this journey, he must create an atmosphere about him that will carry the content of his posthumous existence, while leaving something of worth behind for his kid. He comprehends that the future of the world will not be changed by his words, but their future will be and that May in turn change the world.

This point must always be kept in mind when he starts questioning the “why” upon the fringe of all things.  After all, the silent mind merely whispers at the edge of eternity, like a light fringe of foam at the lip of a wave.

He has learned that salvation is not a reward, but a very wild and normal consequence. If not to even say that it is a natural process of the inner work in which he tries to achieve for himself, as well as that of his innate disposition. This being what pushes him in the enduring direction of his voluntary search that seeks some higher purpose in the creation of his life. He knows these words are but the footsteps along this long and winding nomadic expedition in search of his Spirit.

He can and will attest that it is a path filled with treacherous steps that lean into all sorts of different hidden angles and patterns. But they are his, they have put him here with this pen in his hand. And at this point, he understands that he and this pen tilt at a geometric point where the horizontal and the vertical meet, an invisible cross of sorts.  He sees that this path is built for only him.  And he sees that your path is nothing like his.  It is yours and yours alone. And should our paths meet let it forever be sweet.  

On a good day he understands that those he thought he was helping, in the end, he came to learn that they were helping and teaching him, and he as well, himself.  He is, sometimes too often filled to the brim with the facility of his own thoughts and the sublimity of his own reason.  But it is time to insulate those thoughts he hates to love, while loving to hate, with the fashion of his old self again.   This meant it was time he get to wherever needs to be at the present time.

It took him awhile, but he finally learned how to outwit the craftiness of his thoughts, only because the answers themselves brought about new questions. And it is today, as we mark it, that he has finally taught himself a valuable lesson within the inner work of his better habits.  

It was then he laughed with a joy that shook through his body from his head to his toes.  It was such a laugh that it put money in his pocket, because it paid no doctor bill. It was a laugh that made him feel alive as he was now whole.  It was a laugh that howled from the depths of his core.  It was then he heard providence call, and he knew he had to answer it, with no intention of hanging it up.

And by and by his smile rises with a new dawn and the sun, she rests upon his weary-eyed thoughts with clarity. The boy had laughed himself awake from the depths of a bad dream, a different man. So with that being said, I leave you with the truth.

What we say about God isn’t what counts, but what we let Him say in us; this right we grant Him to say Himself—instead of us.

-BeLove

Living The Dream

Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.

-Christ

These ends of mine

should mean to meet

one would think

when walking down a one way street.

 

So for now take a seat

kick back and relax those feet

—go on get some rest

as the day is undressed

by tonight’s nurtured nest.

Soon I’m going to need you all

at your very best.

 

But if you have any needs

while I’m tending to these seeds

in this garden of good deeds.

I’ll be right over here

serenading songs of Shakespeare

through a distant whisper

for it is true—Love is something

that all souls can hear.

 

But it is time for a new endeavor

something with a bit less pressure.

Once stuck in the depths of a river

that flowed to a place called never

but upon the horizon I now see forever.

 

The pounding beneath your chest

might be me giving it my best

because of time I am no longer pressed

see these steps—they move sprite with zest.

 

So as the sun it sets to the west

sung low by a choir of light

smiling in the shape of an angel’s flight

 

It is God above that fills my heart

and I feel something within—brimming

my mind no longer spinning.

 

For that was the day

when fury went the way of forgiven

and greed—well it turned to giving.

You see my friends

It was but a day

when life looked Love in the eye

and the dream took to living.

BeLove © 2018


As It Always Was

Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

-Christ

I’ve always stood still

though tall in a shadow

scattered with fear.

Then came a window

left wide open

only to walk the tightrope in.

 

It is now the sands of time

through which I sift

into the direction

of the sun

my sights they shift.

 

In the beat of a heart

it all shines through

The love, the light, it’s in all of you.

Somewhere between

the rock and a tree and Love’s jubilee

I found you all

in the finesse of me.

 

But again came the call

from a distant squall

one I’ve heard

my entire life.

The one I now know

for I must follow.

 

It’s harmony that sings

in the joy it brings

through the gospel we hear

to make the choice

from a voice so clear.

 

It is as it is,

as it always was.

 

It echoes through eternity

down the path that guides me.

The divinity inside thee

has now become my reality.

BeLove © 2018


 

 

 

 

Be Wilderness

Above all else, guard your heart, for all that you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4 : 23

Over the last decade, I have had this intermittent dream.  This dream has sometimes haunted me but it has mainly kept my spirit fed.  It’s one of those dreams that feel very real in the midst of my slumber.  So real, that I wake up disoriented and it takes me a few moments to establish what is real and what is make-believe.  It was only until then, and now again, upon another rendition of this dream that I’ve started to claw at the surface of it’s significance with the hope that I can pin down the purpose of its meaning through intrinsic interpretation.  The dream always begins in the same exact setting.  My actions and decisions in the depths of the dream have always been the driving force as to which direction I take to reach my destination.  A destination that is still very much up in the air, because in the dream, I never reach it.  Not that I am aware of at least.  I would like to take some time now and share the dream with you.


I come to be awakened on a mountainous boulder.  I stand upon shaky knees balanced high above an extravagant raging river flowing furious with Old Man Winter’s runoff. The morning wasn’t breaking so much, as it was infiltrating through my blurred vision.  I am entrenched in some vast and splendid wilderness.  The only sound other than the deafening silence of loneliness is the symphony of an unhinged river’s rage.  My first thought, is whether or not the trout are biting?  Where’s my fly rod?  I look all around and see that it is nowhere to be found.  “Son of a bitch,” I mumble to myself.  My head floats on a swivel as I assess my surroundings.  There is a vague plume of smoldering grayish smoke about a football field’s length from where I stand.  I assume that it’s the remnants of last night’s warming fire, or maybe it’s a burning bush.

Campfire

I am captivated at the spectacular scenery that encompasses me.  It’s the most picturesque sight I’ve ever laid my eyes on.  The morning sun is awakening from its slumber and painting the mountains purple in their majesty.  As the golden hour washes over the craggy cliffs that tower over me to the north, I think to myself what a sight for eyes sore with solitude.  There is a chilled crispness to the air that is evident with every breath I exhale.  I shiver with the essence of something similar to seismic activity rippling through the core of me.  Could this be a celestial vibration that I am on the right path?  This tricks my mind into believing that a shroud of warmth will follow in the friction of my frivolous movement.  Which it does, but only for a waning moment.

Without an inkling of warning, the radiant brilliance of sunshine is swallowed by the looming threat of a surging storm.  The wind begins to carry a swiftness behind it that nudges my stability into a stumble.  In the sense of simultaneous, I reclaim my balance and I manage to reorganize the awareness of my environment.  My complacent moment of reflection is now superseded with a sudden urge to seek some place a bit more sheltered.  I succumb to the shivering sound of silence again.  I am cold and extremely parched from thirst.  I barely gather myself and plot my escape from this elevated pedestal of uncertainty.  The only way down is a slippery slope soaked in imprecision.

Fog

I start my descent down a trail I have no familiarity with whatsoever.  The brewing storm begins to serenade the uncharted wilderness with a booming, marching thunder—sprinkled with flickering bursts of magnificent light.  A steady mix of cold rain and snow beckons from above.  My walk moves into an opportunistic sprint.  I sense a hint of fear and become scared; unaware of the conditional circumstance that awaits my lack of carefulness.  I stumble again but this time balance escapes me and I fall.  As I fall, I try and let my limbs go limp.  I do this under the instinctual cognizance that external limbs are less likely to break or snap like twigs when not constricted with fear.  In focusing upon this my head introduces itself to the hardest substance it has ever felt and I fall unconscious.  After a few moments, I come around back to my senses.  By hook or by crook, I manage to pick myself back up.  My head is screaming with a sharpening discomfort that buries healthy pleasure with an unsettling pain.

In the depths of my agony, I realize that I clumsily yet successfully maneuvered my way down the mountain.  I stagger around for a moment and slowly digest that I have no idea where I was before, let alone now.   The smoldering smoke from before is now thick and heavy—its density has consumed every bit of clarity I had left about me.  I start traipsing through the fog; I have no sense of direction.  I feel like Vertigo is just sitting back, waiting to confuse the issue more than it already is.  I walk for what seems like an eternity, feeling like I will never reach a destination.  I think to myself, am I dead?  Could this be Purgatory?

Thirst is all I can think about, what I wouldn’t do for one sip of water.  My head is still screaming at me and the smell of some metallic tinge is following me like a wafting cloud.  The genesis of exhaustion steals my strength and I decide to take a breather.  I lay down with my burdens in hand, crossed upon my heart and I close my eyes.  Thirst and warmth fill my mind but even the comforts of home can’t keep the exhaustion at bay any longer, I fall asleep.  Even with all of the misfortunes that have graced the short-lived morning I sleep like a rock.

I am startled awake by the sound of a snarling animal.  Scared, scarred and shaken, I quickly stand up—dizzy.  Sudden fear enshrouds the wooziness in my head and I make sure my presence is noisily felt.  Adrenaline alone allows my equilibrium a chance to achieve even distribution.  I can see nothing in the fog, but the snarls are now more of an echo and seem further away than I originally thought.  I gather anything I can find that will help me defend myself, nothing more than a few sticks and stones.  “Hopefully they wouldn’t break my bones,” I whispered to myself as I collected them.  “At least my sense of humor was still going strong,” I thought proudly.  With a ginger demeanor, I walk in a brisk manner towards the opposite direction of the echoing snarls.  They seem to be growing closer the further I get from them.    In the shuffling madness, I catch my breath and I start to run again.  All of the sudden, the stability of solid ground was flooded by an icy soaked, but buoyant brook of excitability.

Hallelujah, it was water.  Miraculously, I had happened upon the river again.  In a baptismal elegance I fall to my knees, submerging my aching head into the rivers depth; my hands interlock themselves into a chalice.  The river is littered with glacial silt.    I remind myself to not let gluttony get the best of me.  I allow myself enough to quench the parched feeling that had hindered me throughout this shortened pilgrimage.  I am tempted to indulge until my heart’s delight, but I know that will only be detrimental to my well being down the road of this journey.  In my ecstatic behavior of blessedness, I neglected to notice the snarls were still very much on my tail.

The Perfect Swimming Hole

The denseness of the fog was lifting itself in a tedious manner and visibility was beginning to show itself again.  The only way to safety was through this river of Doubt.  I vaguely glance upon an echelon of rocks, strung together and placed conveniently for my stride.  I take the steps one by one, slow and steady wins the race, I thought.  I turn to look for whatever it was that has been trailing me since my fall.  In the faint distance, I can finally see what has been hunting me.  I see a wolf that looked to be plotting his next move, for he is as thirsty for blood, as I was for a drink of fresh water. I have a hunch that I haven’t seen the last of him.

I continue upon the stepping-stones with ease to my stride. The river grows mighty in its wake.  The farther I follow this path into the remote midst of this river, the more vibrant and sunny everything becomes.  The air has a warming touch to it now and I was gaining strength as clarity was becoming more constant.  The steps were starting to demand longer strides and I even had to wade in the water from time to time.  Then came the next challenge.

I was walking these stones for at least a mile and still no sign of the west bank of this river I have now dubbed Doubt.  Now here I stood on the last solid rock.  The glacial silt seemed to ablate itself from Doubt.  Roughly twenty feet below me was a budding stretch of backwater; followed by another pattern of rocks that perceived a promising path.  I carefully careen myself down the last slab of solidity that I could see.  I am knee deep in Doubt now, her waters, clear and chilly.  I drink from her until my heart’s delight.  I am amazed at the pulsating autumn hues that grace the forest around me.  The bursts of orange, yellow, and red—paint the landscape with a buffering beauty.  I shiver again from the soothing sensation of vibrational purpose, and wade with bewilderment.   The reverence I have for this wilderness is deep.  As deep as the river Doubt is about to get.

Up Close Waterfall

The pattern of rocks only got further away from one another as I waded towards them.  In my carefree comportment I didn’t notice that Doubt’s waters had risen with rapidness.  I began to panic, and as it grabbed my legs, well you know?  It pulled me in.  The icy and submerging blanket of water acted like shock therapy and triggers that everlasting instinct for survival.  I notice a large piece of driftwood floating with more poise than me and push my way towards it through the vicious current with every ounce of energy I have left.   As I am within arms reach of my saving grace I shiver again; followed by the most acute pain I have ever known.  The last thing I remember resembles the immersion of drowning.

I come to be revived on a pebbly beach.  I was spooning a piece of driftwood half my size as though it was a pillow.  My head is splitting with an ache but the air is steadily warm now, almost arid.  My damp clothes are the only thing between the luxury of warmth and me.  The river Doubt had turned into a creek that was now just a trickle of murky looking sludge.  The harsh reality sinks in that I have drifted far away from where I believe I belonged.  For the lush wilderness had become a barren desert.  I take off my top layer of clothing and lay them out to dry.  I canvas my newfound surroundings and see that there is only an inkling of shade beneath a ballooning bush of sagebrush.  This shade could only be used as shelter from the scorching sun for maybe two hours a day. I look behind me and see the monumental mountain reaching for Heaven above while nothing but sagebrush and high desert for the foreseeable future ahead of me.  Hunger pangs are making themselves known now.  I scrounge for something to eat.  I find nothing but a handful of ants.  I eat them and it is true, they are crunchy and sour.  I make a fool of the pangs by chewing on some sagebrush.   The sagebrush becomes a brief but nonetheless shaded shelter from a fierce sun and its cold-blooded heat.  I take off my shirt and use it as a pillow.  The shade summons me silently to sleep.

Vision

I wake up blistered from the scorching sun.  The sun was at its daily peak burning everything that lies in its wake.  Shade was nowhere to be found.  I put my shirt on and it feels like the incendiary ants I ate earlier as a snack are stinging me.  “Karma, is an instant bitch,” I scream silently.  The pain quickly becomes unbearable as it feels like I am being broiled.  I have no choice to go back into the wilderness, but first I had to climb the monumental mountain.  The mountain of eternity seemed to rumble with agreement as rocks start to tumble down the slopes with an awaiting earnestness.  The mountain was as massive as it was intimidating.  It interrupts the rolling desert plain with an abruptness that sprawls ten thousand plus feet into the horizon, almost out of midair it seemed.

I was more ready for this climb than I believed I was.  I start singing at the top of my lungs; maybe I was hoping for one last possibility that someone might hear me, or maybe I was just a bit stir crazy,  “Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams, telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.”  I try my best at impersonating Robert Plant but I am positive I do it no justice whatsoever—I imagine the Hammer of the Gods are laughing out loud at me.  As I expected, only silence followed, still I felt a little zanier yet confident than just a few minutes before.  At least my sun-drenched sanity was still sticking around for the time being.

Moondance

“Time to go.” The voice said as clear as the afternoon was. I spun around, spinning with bewilderment.  There was no one within a day’s walk of me.  Yet the voice was shrilling with a sense of comfort.  Maybe it was the stern approach that would not allow me to take the demanding tone lightly.  Without question, I started moving with fleetness.  I proceeded to blaze my own trail up the mountainous terrain.  I must’ve gotten my underrated second wind because I covered an extensive amount of ground, in a short period of time.

Just before dusk I had to slow to a steady pace to assess my situational circumstances.  The wilderness was becoming thick and the forest was filling itself out like a puzzling maze.  Humidity filled the air and night was beginning to fall.  The dew was beginning dampen the environment with a chill that stuck to my bones.  Though the colder air acted like aloe on my scorched skin, and I welcomed its comfort.  I slowed down but kept moving at a steady pace.  My path now carried more clarity with it than I had seen so far on this everlasting journey.  My motivation was bullying me into another exhaustive state but the adrenaline wouldn’t quit pumping through my blood.  I came to a sudden stop, when I thought I heard the snarls again.  It was nothing but an insect the size of my forearm, humming a sort of wilderness lullaby. But in the distance I heard the howling of a wolf, and instead of becoming frightened, I felt security wash over me, I was no longer the only living entity within this wilderness.

I stumble upon a path.  This is another sign that I am indeed headed in the right direction.  And as I come upon a fork in the path that heads in different directions—I become surprised with the pleasantry of a sign.  For a sign, signaled hope.  The sign shared the following morsel of wisdom.   Here lies the confluence of two, once mighty rivers.  One was called Soul, the other Ego.  One must choose between the paths wisely for there may not be another opportunity for you to find your way to the Promised Land in which you seek.  I kneel and pray, the voice answers with a vibrational pulse that echoes through my entire being.  I walk towards the merging trails.  I converge my steps between the both of them and I walk with purposeful intention through the valley of the shadow of death.  I begin to bushwhack my way through my metaphoric fear and leave it behind, where it belongs.

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I feel a few raindrops grace my presence and notice a mountainous thunderhead forming over my head.  I do not fear this storm because I know it is all in my mind.  But as the storm begins to drop golf ball sized hail upon my head, I pray for something to shelter me from the storm.  I walk brisk down the path and as I turn a corner, much to my delight there is an old outhouse.  I fall with exhausted grace into its storm-shielding demeanor.  I am content in the solitude of this ageless four-cornered Calvary.  And I see an inscription of scripture carved upon the wall.  And just below it was an insignia of biblical times.

Arrow

He made my mouth sharp like a sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.

Isaiah 49 : 2

As I finish reading this profound scripture the walls around my head start to cave in, and I hear the shrieking laughter of a child.  Soon there followed the sweetest voice my ears have ever heard.

“Daddy, wake up.  Naptime is over.”

I scream startled waking from an afternoon snooze, dazed and confused.  He had dove  upon my chest.

Shaking with sudden comfort, he says to me, “Dad, what are we going to do now?”

“Save the world my child, at least for you, that’s what we are going to do.” saying with confidence.

“Okay, but first can we go to the river?” he asks.

“Of course we can kiddo, but after the rain stops,” I say much to his dismay.

The steady rain patters away on the roof, putting my mind at an ease it hasn’t felt in quite some time.  My vision is no longer blurred and I realize my purpose now.  The light flows from my heart to my mind will never be dimmed ever again.  It was time the dream turned to reality.

  -BeLove