Into the Wild – not as bleak as it first appears

My son wrote an essay in 2010, and this poem was my response.  

His words are in bold print.

My son wrote an essay in 2010, and this poem was my response.

His words are in bold print.

Here you stand, marching fearlessly into the fog
across the bridge to your where,
and here I stand,
marveling at your courage, your abandon,
the way you hold your sword,
and the way I know you won’t actually ever need to use it.

You. The old soul. The turtle.
The one who conversed with the ancients that first week,
before the cement of reality boxed you in
and weakened your transmissions with the universe.

If the hitchhiker had been born a few thousand years ago,
and gotten a few disciples,
he could have had a major religion named after him by now.
But he was born into a world with everything already in place,
and no more frontiers, so he went and made new ones.
He found what he wanted.

You will not be a hitchhiker,
and you know not yet where your frontier will be,
so here you stop on the bridge,
suddenly overcome with the weight
that what is on the other side is unknowable,
that in that mystery is death, and in death, oblivion.
Do you know that the people who are not crazy who contemplate this are rare?
Buddha, Chris McCandless, Einstein, God, You.
Do I know that telling you this provides no comfort?

I can’t make a Mamma salve to cover this,
but I can hold your hand
as you rip the bandaid from this existential wound and peer in.
We can walk up to the crate and see to infinity together,
knowing that you have a place in that continuum.

Really, that’s the driving goal of life.
To find happiness, or complexity, or meaning, or just contentment.
Some of the most well-remembered men in history are so well remembered
because they followed their personal compass and found peace.

I promise you will be alright.
Yes, this current expanse is a little bleak,
but this is a good book, and you have a place in it,
through it, for it, around it.

You are the sunflower and the tiger.

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