When you go out on the road
for the first time, whatever distance
seems too far for you to travel
on one road without turning is precisely how long
you will have to travel before you can rest.
Even if you turn from the path
upon setting foot upon it,
you will end up having gone as far
as if you’d never changed your mind,
not even once.
You’ll be weary and all at once
the enormity of the journey will feel
mountainous upon you, a rear-view
of peaks climbed, avalanches,
near-falls, exhaustion, exaltations.
Think for a moment, though,
of the billions throughout time
who grew up simpler, constrained
but happy, who took the straight paths
allowed them — serf, cannon fodder,
peasant, hunter, farmer —
who ended up in the same place
you now are, resting at the end
of the road — do you think they looked back
any less amazed and overwhelmed than you?
You were so sure of yourself,
once. You followed every crazy path
you came upon and congratulated yourself
for your unique spontaneity and great fortune.
Look around. Are you alone?