What’s to lose?

A lifetime or a fortune?

Dignity, self-respect, love?

If I stand at the edge of a cliff, the risk is easy to figure. One step forward or one step back, I know the consequence.

Life is not so easy. Fear can freeze us. And often does.

When the wolves are at the door or roaming in the yard or rumored to be in the area, it is hard to open the door to let the sunshine enter.

Were I to wander openly in the world, breathing the air, dropping my armor and weapons, and giving love to each stranger that I meet, would I be destroyed?

The only way to know is to do. There is no quiet, simple way to let down my guard. I must let go…

And, tell a story.

I apologize to the world for withholding myself, so many times, from your orbit. I am appalled by my lack of courage.

The waters of the world fill my eyes and fall over the edge. I may drown. Like Icarus when he hit the waters. But never having known the sky.

I am humbled though I always considered myself humble. I now admit my terror at being worthless.

Bridges burned on all sides, I am the one man who has become an island. An island that is bare and washed by waves of self-pity, owning only a putrid sack of fears.

Do I lay down and let this viscous liquid fill my lungs? Could I even swim to another shore?

When I was younger, maybe crazier, I would have moved faster and plied the waters to a new land. But the baggage was lighter then.

I don’t truly believe in death. Only wasted bodies, wasted lives. And, I feel like I have wasted so much. Or is that the bag talking?

I have told/shown, intimated for so long that I am brave and strong. I knew that this was “shadow-real”, a character created to cover a broken self. Though sometimes I convinced myself. But, the broken one was still there, cringing in the corner in fear of being seen.

Now you can see. Before you sits a weak, craven and a vulnerable smudge of a man who has tried to fool the universe into believing his worth.

Vulnerability, they say, is a strength or a power. All that I have experienced of “vulnerability” is that it leaves one broken and crying and hiding in the dark. It’s dangerous and scary. Yet, here I am, waiting to be beaten, exposing my naked soul. Waiting, still, for the waves to wash over me.

I don’t know where I go from here. The deep waters seem to subside and the bag might be a little lighter. Maybe I can wade out toward the peak that I can almost make out in the distance.

I stand and heft my bag. One faltering step at a time I wade into the cold soup of self-recrimination.

Do wolves swim?

Poet. Philosopher. A sense of Humor. 60 years ago I rode the winds at the top of a tall cottonwood. Buy me a coffee @ https://ko-fi.com/danasanford

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