No Easy Path

Path

My goal is the top of the mountain, but I can’t seem to stay on one path walking straight up. I walk around it, paths crossing and forking, sometimes turning in on themselves. Often I’m going back down towards gray cubicals and financial statements, where heavy air is pumped in to keep alive hands click, clicking on keyboards, where flickering computer screens illuminate glazed eyes and tight jaws. Down there, I’m grounded, approaching stable.

At the top of the mountain the air will be light and dizzy. I will be standing on winners peak looking out at 360 degrees of possibility.

Currently in the forest I pick my way among roots and rocks. In eternal green-gold dusk time is meaningless. Hours and days melt together, each one different and unique in the same way trees are, ways not worth mentioning, that don’t matter when you have a forest of them blocking your view in every direction. Here is both tranquil and terrifying. I’m accustomed to the solitude and cool moist air smelling of decay. Woodland creatures play out fantasy worlds created and destroyed by my thoughts. I could be happy here, in that crazy aunt in the attic with origami birds and cuneiform trees way, but for the wolf.

She always around, sometimes so far away I can lie saying she’s the wind rudely shoving tight knit branches. Sometimes she’s so close I smell her breath. She snaps at me, closing off this path, hurrying me down another, The wolf howl’s screaming “NOW” when in my mother’s voice I think “too late, too late”. This is the time to become who I am going to be, to walk back down or find the smooth path up.

But wanting and doing, knowing and achieving are not the same things. I have turned so often I’m not sure which way is up.

I whistle a bit of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and keep walking, my woodland friends keeping me company in top hat and tails.

This was written for this weeks trifecta challenge, click above for the details and to read more submissions.

11 thoughts on “No Easy Path

    • This was a great prompt! Thanks for making these happen. I have not been submitting for long but I am already hooked, I love doing these every week.

    • She is terrifying. Everyday she whispers in my ear that there is so much to do and that if I don’t keep working at it I will never achieve my goals. But I am grateful for that drive to, it keeps me a least a little self motivated. However this week I have mostly just goofed off, so the wolf must be off somewhere chasing a rabbit or something.

    • Thanks! When I was in the little gray boxes I hate it. I saved up money so I could take a break and walk around outside for a bit and now I am desperately trying to find a way to stay out. I could make so much more money working as an accountant and all my money worries would disappear, but so many other problems come with bring away from home, trapped in a tiny space and surrounded by strangers all day.
      When I was a kid we were poor. And I always used to think about my parents and grandparents “if y’all would just pick one thing, and do it well we would be better off” and now as an adult I find myself all at once trying to be a writer, keeping chickens to sell the eggs, growing a garden to save money on food, making and selling makeup and thinking about taking up sewing costumes. I have to be so frugal and work so much harder this way, but honestly it is worth it. I completely understand all my ancestors scheming and dreaming now.

  1. I love the last bit with Puttin’ on the Ritz. If you’re going to dream – dream big – that’s what I like about this. Your goal is the top of the mountain. I have a friend who was an accountant and gave it up for the same reason. He decided to drive a bus for a living so he could do what he wanted to do which is hosting a weekly radio show on music of the 20’s – 40’s for which he gets paid nothing, but it’s his identity.

  2. I love this line: ” I will be standing on winners peak looking out at 360 degrees of possibility.” That’s a great metaphor, and a great visual. Nice job!

  3. I love the contrast between cubicles and open air. The choice between grounded and almost stable, and the 360 degrees of possibility isn’t as obvious as it would seem – there’s give and take. I am a cubicle dweller (ugh!) but I have no aspirations to join management in any way. Sure, I’d make more money…but then I’d have to worry about business other than my own. No thanks.

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