Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Best Belief

author's note:

The above illustration is based on a dream--a sleeping dream.

Since dreams don't lie, what I believe must be true: we are indeed climbing.


I don't want to stop

for air

because then I'll begin
to feel my fear:

naturally, I'm afraid--
climbing as I'm climbing--!--

I seem to shrink as I ascend:

as the ground below retreats
the landscape broadens out
and I compact
                 to a mere speck

then as my heart
                 starts to drop
I look back up
but my tiny eyes
                 see only cloud.

So why do I work so hard
to reach an unknown destination--?--

I can only tell you:
I woke up and found myself
grappling with a hill
that then became a mountain
when I woke up.

Not knowing what else to do
I decided:
"might as well finish
 whatever it is I've started."

That might not seem to be much reason
but as I creep from rock to rock
there's always the matter at hand
to help distract me, to keep me
from tripping on such questions.

Unfortunately, occasionally
I must stop for air--
only then do I become
overwhelmed by fear.

At such times, I attempt
to reassure myself by saying:
"Maybe when I'm high enough
 this fear will finally give up
 trying to scare me
 and fall away!"

That hope gives enough lift
to stand me back on my feet--
that goal redirects my focus
to the next ledge above me.

Yet as I continue to claw
and wrestle my way up
the long shadow of doubt
still hangs from my heel...

so to bolster myself, I hold fast
to what I believe to be my best belief:

as I see it, everything here--
this mountain, those clouds, these rocks,
my fear, my hope, that goal, this choice--
everything here
must be my fine destiny....

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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