Finding Our Way

Irishman Padraig ÓTuama, host of Poetry Unbound, wrote something so wise, so consoling, so true-to-my-experience that I simply had to share it here:

During the retreat last week, I took a few walks. One afternoon, Sean, a man I’ve met and kept in touch with from other events, asked if I wanted to go on a hike. Yes. The pathway was covered with gorgeous autumn coloured leaves. Sean knows those pathways well, though, so — mostly — we were able to find the way. But even he was stumped by the way the fading light made old pathways seem unfamiliar. I trusted him, as he laughed at himself when he felt wrong-wayed. I liked his guidance that even though he didn’t know the way, he knew a general direction. We made it back.

I spent years of my life looking for the way, thinking I might find it in some small section of religion. Or, when that faded, thinking I might find it in some small particular practice. The desire wasn’t the problem, the imagination was. The imagination that there was only one way. What I see, over and over, is that the way is made: with failure, friendship, desire, thwarted desire, achievement, limitation, justice, reparation, the long ache of wound, art, ambivalence, and amazement. There is no, the way. There are just the ways we get through.

I encourage you and others who are hungry for wise insight regarding this adventure we call “life” and down-to-earth inspiration for finding our way(s) to check out Poetry Unbound and consider subscribing. Here is a link to Pádraig Ó’Tuama’s complete reflection from which this selection was taken: