Journeys Without End

Lately I sometimes think I am done writing. Days and weeks pass, and I find I have nothing to say. I ask myself, “How can this be? I read. I write journal entries. I compose letters. I venture outdoors. I photograph.” In spite of the stimulus, I find I think and hear nothing new. My head swirls with the same thoughts. I feel loss. I feel pain. I grieve. I soldier on, but nowhere in my mind does a new thought enter sparking joy, wonder, questions…or words. I hold myself in stasis, warding off the pain of what cannot be changed, counseling acceptance…counseling acceptance. In stasis I keep thoughts at bay; in stasis I keep emotions in check; in stasis, I defeat myself.

 

Yellow Pond Lily

 

Lately I sometimes feel lost in the outcome of past choices. I ask myself, “If I had not done X, if I had chosen Y, if I had not acted selfishly, if I had loved more — if I had been stronger, more courageous, less vain, less who I am — would I feel now as I do?” But those choices have been made, and today’s outcomes are those of today. I counsel acceptance…acceptance…and sometimes my eyes fill with tears, and I cry.

 

Day Lily in July

 

Life. This journey. What is it all about? We are born through no decision of our own. We graduate through the years of childhood pushed, restrained, challenged, protected. We dream dreams based on stories. We articulate desires based on imaginings. We step out into the world as young adults the product of our ancestors, our cultural upbringing, our geography. We step out into the world thinking we are our own person, not realizing that we are the present-past of all that has transpired.

 

Green-headed Coneflower

 

Lately I have come to understand that I am not “I,” but the embodiment of everything that is and has been. I am the first cell of life; I am the fish that made land; I am the first mammal; I am the first woman; I am my great-grandmother whom I never met; I am my parents who have passed from this earth; I am my brothers, my sister. I am what I understand to be true and what I never will know to be fact. I am the product of my decisions; I am the product of all decisions.

 

Catfish at Rydell National Wildlife Refuge

 

Life. This journey. Lately I sometimes think I am done writing. Lost in what I perceive to be the outcomes of my past choices, I withdraw into myself, holding thoughts at bay, putting a check on my emotions. The world, although ever-changing, appears dark and forbidding. My head swirls with the same thoughts. I feel too much. I counsel acceptance. I counsel patience. I press on. I read. I compose letters. I venture outdoors. I continue living, striving, learning, growing just as my parents and grandparents did before me; just as my children do — life begetting life. Journeys without end. Never done. Always beginning anew.

 

Trumpeter Swans with Cygnets

 

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7 thoughts on “Journeys Without End

    1. Shanice, I’m sorry I made you cry! Life is a journey…there are times for joy and times for reflection; we have to take both as they come. No doubt, the spark I seek is around the next bend in the road. Or perhaps the next one! Not to worry.

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  1. Powerful! How we all feel this way at times. I was told not long ago that I think too much. That was coming from a person who thinks of nothing but themselves in the present. I am not wired like that, I also think of the past, present, future, and what all those choices I have made and sometimes how it seems in vain. Yet, we all soldier on in hopes of that spark that will lead us to a brighter light. Peaceful wishes to you.

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  2. This is such a wise reflection, and so relatable. So much of what we experience is the result of factors past, present and — who knows? — perhaps future that we cannot see nor influence. Fallow periods, then fertile, then fallow. The muse appears at different times in different ways and — it seems — never stays as long as we wish. Your images are gorgeous; obviously, you are seeing, feeling and appreciating. That’s a lot!

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    1. Cate, thank you for your thoughts. It is true that the muse visits and leaves capriciously. In retrospect, the fallow periods are not so fallow. So much is processed visually and mentally as I go about my daily life. Fallow periods inform fertile moments to be sure. The other part, though — the part where we are aware and unaware of the influences that guide, and sometimes direct, our choices is more and more interesting to me as I age. Again, thanks for your thoughts! I enjoy your blog!!

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  3. Catching up to emails and posts and such…so just viewed this latest PCS24 post…wonderfully reflective and thoughtful…and beautiful photos as well. Thank you for sharing your gift of communication and awareness.

    On Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 4:13 PM Pennington Co Sect: 24 wrote:

    > penncosect24 posted: “Lately I sometimes think I am done writing. Days and > weeks pass, and I find I have nothing to say. I ask myself, “How can this > be? I read. I write journal entries. I compose letters. I venture outdoors. > I photograph.” In spite of the stimulus, I find I th” >

    Liked by 1 person

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