Instructions for the Journey
by Pat Schneider
The self you leave behind
is only a skin you have outgrown.
Don’t grieve for it.
Look to the wet, raw, unfinished
self, the one you are becoming.
The world, too, sheds its skin:
politicians, cataclysm, ordinary days.
It’s easy to lose this tenderly
unfolding moment. Look for it
as if it were the first green blade
After a long winter. Listen for it
as if it were the first clear tone
in a place where dawn is heralded by bells.
And, if all that fails,
wash your own dishes.
Stand in your kitchen at your sink.
Let cold water run between your fingers.
What happens when you write instructions for the journey? What are the alternatives? What “if all that fails”? Even if you don’t feel it, what images would you create for yourself that end with the insistence/encouragement/command/exhortation/hope to “Feel it.”