Turn Away

Guest Blog Post By Brian Alger, Exploring Life

Sometimes you must let go
Of all the usual desires
That conspired to lead you to this place
Of contingency, false urgency, and exhaustion

Nearly sixty years have passed
And as your body begins its retreat
You are still disappointed
To find yourself on that beaten and tired path
Remaining faithful to your conditioning
And the rigid discipline of your own inertia
Never turning away
Never looking in the other direction
That believes in you
Because it refuses to show you the way

The path you still follow
After all these years
Offers the comfort of the familiar
And the fulfillment of expectations
Not of your own making
This is not your path
You have always known this
It belongs to that other self
The one who has always been too frightened to
Turn away

But there is a knowing inside
Coming from an invisible source
Calling you toward the wild terrain
That has always been there waiting for you
Where there are no paths to follow
Where there is no one to advise you
Where your distractions are your only guide
And where you must find your own way
For the first time in your life

These are deeply troubled times
We suffer through a daily routine of lies, deception, and distress
Yes, of course, there is good in the world
But it suffocates underneath the knee of our collective malevolence
We all feel the heart-wrenching burden
Of all the unnecessary violence and trauma
And the unavoidable consequence
Of the human narrative
Forged in the raging fires of
Narcissism, inequity, and greed
While a pandemic
Spills gasoline on everyday life

Now is the time to turn away from it all
Not in a refusal to contribute to the greater good
But to participate more deeply in life
By looking in the other direction
Precisely where the distractions are
The ones you have ignored all these years
That only you can move toward
Not on some courageous journey to find meaning, purpose, or wisdom
But embrace humility and revel in the privilege of being alive

I don’t care if there is a true self
I don’t care about finding a vocation
I don’t care to listen to the banter of spiritual automatons
I don’t care who has the best fiction
I care about the mystery of being

Turn away
Now
And as you take that first trembling step
Into that feral terrain
Where your life is
Let those distractions
The ones that have remained faithful to you
Across all these years
Be a revelation
Of something sacred
That leads you back into yourself
And the mystery of your own disappearance
That has been promised

Brian 08/13/2020

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