What Happens When You Get Lost
by William Stafford
Out in the mountains nobody gives you anything.
And you learn what the rules were after the game is over.
By then it is already night and it doesn’t make any difference
What anyone else is thinking or doing because now you have to
Turn into an Indian.
You remember stories and now you know that the tellers were
Part of all they told.
And everyone else was, and even you.
They’re all around you now, but if you’re afraid you will never find them.
And those questions that people always ask―
“What would you do if…”
They have their own answer right now―nothing.
Some things cannot be redeemed in a hurry no matter what the intentions are.
What could be done had to have been done a long time ago.
Because mistakes have consequences that do not just disappear.
If evil could be canceled easily it would not be very evil.
And so, the stars see you.
While you drift away they have their own courses and they watch you.
And listen, they already know your name.
In last night’s dream, I am lost again. Only this time, the people who rescued me in the previous dream are the ones I am trying to find. I can’t find everything I need to pack and take with me to see these friends. It’s almost time to meet them, and I haven’t even left the motel, and it’s at least an hour’s drive.
Finally, I am on my way, but I haven’t found the destination on Google Maps, and I can’t seem to figure out how to text my friends to get the address or to tell them I am late. I have four different devices, and I just can’t seem to figure out which one is the phone. I stop a woman and ask if she can help me. She gets out a stylus and starts doing some elaborate calligraphy on one device that looks like an iPad, only it makes actual marks on the surface of the glass. Now she’s just playing a game on the device. I take it from her in disgust, and move on.
I finally pull out my phone and start to text my friend, but the whole systems goes glitchy and starts to blink. The glass of the phone shatters.
I don’t know how I eventually get there, but eventually (it feels like I’m dreaming this hours and many stories after the first) I am sitting with my friends, and it’s actually earlier than the time I was trying to leave in the first dream. I have made it, and I have time. One of my friends remarks that time sometimes seems to stand still when you’re with people you love.
1. A Two-Hour Delay. I am going to go back to sleep for a little while.
2. A warm cat stretched out next to me and purring.
3. The quiet beauty of snow, how snow blankets, how it veils.
4. Finding the breathing spaces
5. Getting lost in stories. I love when all three kids are along on the way to and/or from school, because then we listen to story together.
May we walk in Beauty!
Some Things to Think About:
I see her walking
on a path through a pathless forest
or a maze, a labyrinth.
As she walks, she spins
and the fine threads fall behind her
following her way,
where she is going,
where she has gone.
Telling the story.
The line, the thread of voice,
the sentences saying the way.
—Ursula K. Le Guin (from “The Writer On, and At, Her Work”)
“Young people, don’t be afraid.” —Michelle Obama in her final speech as First Lady
“You loose your grip
and then you slip
into the Masterpiece…”
“Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality-not as we expect it to be but as it is-is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.” ―Frederick Buechner
Toko-pa, quoting and reflecting on Marion Woodman:
“Marion Woodman—Jungian, author, teacher, crone—taught me that what is most missing from our culture is the Mature Feminine. Mature Feminine, she says, is the ability to ‘hold presence.’ It is not divided attention, like the sort you feel when someone is psychically composing their grocery instead of listening to you. ‘I don’t have time for that,’ she says. Holding Presence ‘is to love the other exactly as they are, not as you want them to be.’ It is love without judging, without getting the other tangled up in your own unconscious, unlived life. ‘Holding presence is to create room so the other can grow into their destiny. They can feel that.'”
“Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.” ―Charlotte Gray