On Wilderness

The Face of God

I stand before the stand of trees
The wood
The expanse
before me
And I see the shards of light—
the asymmetric design of relief from the darkness
and I think of God

Of walking through—
trying to walk through—
the challenges laid at my feet.

Looking out on the faces of mankind
but knowing
that, in truth, on that day, anyway,
I am walking on the path of God;
that can evaporate under my feet.
Or lead me to a dragon’s lair.
With nothing in my hands
but a tissue and a fan.
Slay the dragon!

And I know that I am lost in the wilderness.
With nothing but my training for my guide.
Walk on.
Follow your feet.
The lesson of silence.
The lesson of the rose.
The lessons.
The practice.
The understanding.
In the real world
of no lessons,
no practice,
and very little understanding.

People become my stand of trees
with shards of God’s light peeking through,
twinkling when the sun—the son—
is in my sky,
but sinking into darkness.

That is when I begin to “see.”
In the darkness.
The shapes between the forms.
The movement—barely perceived—
in the stillness.
And I know that all is not as it seems
in the light of humanity;
that there are those who lie about themselves:
their motives,
their goodness.

And they don’t like my knowing
their truth.
Their place in the wood.
Their involvement with the wilderness.

They want to seduce me—
trick me—
into skipping into the wood
as if there is no danger.
No wilderness.
No traps.
No danger.

But in the wilderness,
and through the wilderness,
there is God.
And the light.
And the love.
And, ultimately, the safety.

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