Stand at the bottom of the stairs, look down the hallway, through the doorway.
Walk that way and get outside.
Stand on the sidewalk and choose a direction. Left or right. Cross the street or stay on this side. Don’t step in the shit and vomit.
Ignore the smell, if you can.
Walk a long, long way. When the sidewalks disappear, and the road is just road. The gravel crunches. How far can you go? The choices grow at the crossroads, and one of them is giving up.
Another choice is not staying on the road.
Into some fields now, filled with last year’s corn stalks, or maybe just coming up with wheat. You’re alive and it’s quiet. Stop for a minute and just breathe. Can you feel it? The fields roll on an on, if you want, and you can maybe forget that there was ever a direction, or a place you wanted to get to.
But the fields always come to end sometime.
The forest looms, sometimes with darkness, sometimes with sunbeams, or both. You can wander the pathways, you can meander, or you can become afraid, and run. It always get’s harder when you run. It becomes a jungle. You take out some sort of tool and hack away at the vegetation, but it might not be enough, so you never know if it’s the right move, not until later. If you live.
But the forest doesn’t last either.
The desert. You’ve made it. The destination with no pathways in or out of it, only to passing of the heavens above. The sun whose light you either cling to or scurry away from. The moon whose coming you either celebrate, or ignore, at your peril. The stars. Whose significance I can’t guess at, except to follow.
In the dream, when I walk the path, it always ends in the desert, from whence there is no escape.
But I keep going out the door anyways.
Just to see.
UPDATED – A Response from my father:
A path takes me between the hill and the water, along the sediment.
I dig there, looking for the line from the old folk song.
Under my feet crack the empty exoskeletons buried there, layered under the molecules that sifted in, like dust through a stone wall.
The soil is soft there, held together by strands of something ripe and dry, once illuminated above the rocks buried in the field on the hill.
Tiny things take root in front of me beckoning for attention.
My travel is a slow thing.
I have to caress these things for they need attention and care.
A sweet breeze takes me up through cedars to the oak and alder and others of smooth bark and thorn.
Through a frame of vine and limb the water bathes the air above it, buoyant in the sky.