02: October 2014 #07 - the gentlest thing you can do
Authored by Emma Cohen #2
the gentlest thing you can do
by Emma Cohen
Surrender to the gentlest thing you can do. You you you don't start with I'm sorry don't start by answering someone else's question: how can you help me? The gentlest thing you can do is stay where you are. If there's a bridge, you crossed it. 15, 20, 50 miles back. Whoever is there now fingers clutching the sturdy wood whoever is there now imagining deluded the bridge ropes fraying & unraveled the planks rotten out & snapping whoever is there now their journey is their journey. The gentlest thing you can do sip from your dromedary & munch the sulphurized dehydrated pineapple cubes in your trail mix. The gentlest thing you can do inhale & exhale notice your breath & the terrain around you whatever it may be: redwoods, young mountains, mulched underforest, eye-high flaxen prairie, the cottonwood river, foam ocean -- & continue your journey. If there is a bridge, you crossed it 3,000 miles back. Forever days between there & now new hiking shoes worn skirts & shorts blood & soreness The gentlest thing you can do love into the weight from your pack, how it hips the pebbles & rocks you've gathered too beside your half-nibbled clif bar the prize you're carrying talisman zipped in your bag's side pocket. The gentlest thing you can do set up camp off the main trails cook your couscous or tunamac love into your tent your sleeping bag the gentlest thing you can do forget the bridge -- you crossed it. Copyright © 2014 by Emma Cohen. Reprinted with permission.