Friday, August 30, 2013

My Journey West

While I continue to struggle trying to find a way to describe not only what I am feeling but what it means, I have come up with a decent analogy as to what the experience of the last ten years have been like.

First, I acknowledge my presuption that what I am doing can/will make me better.  But let's not dwell on such a trivial matter (as I blush a little from embarrassment, knowing just how great the odds are that I may be wrong).

*     *     *     *     *

Let's pretend I am on the East Coast, and I know only two things, things we shall presume are true:

1) If I get to the West Coast, all will be well, and
2) Between me and the West Coast lies the Rocky Mountains, a very difficult impediment.

*     *     *     *     *

Now, take note of what I do not know.

1) I do not know about the Appalachians or the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
2) I do not know about rivers.
3) I do not know about long stretches of plains without water.
4) I do not know how far away the West Coast is, nor do I know where the daunting Rocky Mountains are.

*     *     *     *     *

All I have is a compass and the knowledge that if I keep going West, I can be free.

[In case you don't spot a portion of the comparison right off.  My "compass" is the knowledge that may changes are taking me West.  I know West by feel.  For this metaphor/analogy it's a real compass.]

*     *     *     *     *

Now, add that I am walking and that I am barefoot and that my feet bleed often.  Let's say I suffer from ankle fissures.  Walking across the room can be an ordeal, and I am trying to cross a continent.

*     *     *     *     *

There you have it.  That is what it is like.

Consider that I have now been walking a very long time.

Early on, every pass I reached in the Appalachians, I was certain was the highest apex of the Rocky Mountains.  I'd thought the hardest part was over, time and again, not knowing I had barely begun.

Now, I am exhausted, still not knowing if I have crossed the Rockies. 

For all I know, I am still in the East, or perhaps I am in the foothills or the California Central Valley, ever so close to reaching the coast.

All I can do is keep moving west.

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