After Image

I have been haunted by the impression of an image (because aphantasia, etc)… In this unseen image, I am watching myself from behind as I ascend towards something, and just as I come to it I stop, stepping back and turning away. It always felt to me like falling– falling short, falling down, falling away from what calls me into my own shape in the world. For months this has followed me, dogging my steps, so that I feel constantly overshadowed by some immense failure that hasn’t- yet- happened.

Lying here with the candle sending flickering shadows dancing across the walls and settling into the corners, this almost-seen seed takes suddenly a new shape. I turn, yes, not AWAY but back TOWARD myself, settling, loose limbed and comfortably cross legged, before me with the kind of smile reserved for beloved friends and strangers who invite you in to break bread at their family table. My hands gesticulate and my words wander pathless and awe-struck by the piercing beauty that weave mys through all of us, through all that is. And I am home in a totally new way. Words float up gently from within:

When there is no map, the path is what sustains you.

When there is no map, the path is what sustains you.

What sustains you? Will you follow it back to your self and the relationships which situate you in the world?

The path is what sustains you.
May you walk it.

Image of a path through the woods leading to the Cumberland River, taken by the author and edited in Spark Post.

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