by Jane Tawel
Rising from the Ruts
By Jane Tawel
July 28, 2021
As we grow older,
We slow down, glitch, molder.
And everything sticks
like our bones, and our memories,
we contract and dig grooves.
And all our muscles,
figuratively and literally,
we tighten into cords;
cords that bind us to negativity,
or the quiet despair of meaninglessness.
We can’t escape.
Or rather, if we thought truthfully,
we choose not to escape.
We fall down and down
into our self-created ruts;
those our lives—minds, hearts, souls—
We wear ruts,
not just in our neural folds,
but in the very soil of our being.
Some of our neural paths
begin as paths forward,
but become hard rocky ditches,
Some, make us feel so alive,
until we let them become fallow and festering.
And some ruts we wear
become deep pits of despair,
sorrow, hatred, anger, or boredom.
We wear and wear and wear it all down,
with our thoughts and words and actions,
and the soul gets stuck.
We have used our brains so much,
thinking that our minds are strong enough,
that they can over-come our souls;
thinking that our minds, will always tell us what to do.
But now that we have worn the ruts into depths,
we cannot think how to get out of them.
We can not seem to climb out.
Maybe all we may need is to stop thinking.
Maybe all we may need is to listen, for what, we don’t know.
Maybe all we may need is someone
to encourage us to start the climb.
If you cannot find the will to climb,
Look for a rope thrown down into your rut.
Look for a rope to reach for.
Don’t ask where the rope began,
Look at where it ends,
You are at the end of your rope,
and all you need is just enough strength to
Grasp the meaning of the ropes thrown down to you
and do not question the source.
And if someone tries to throw you a rope,
if someone hollers down into your pit and says:
“Here I am. Can I help you?”–
Don’t be afraid they may let you fall,
or that tomorrow you will have to look for another rope
or another way to start your climb.
The rope itself is strong enough to hold you.
Grab on to the ropes provided for you,
Grab on to that which binds all together,
with that which none of us understands,
that none of keeps or owns or even does all that well–
Grasp the Love that keeps the World in motion,
Hang on with all your might,
Your soul has stayed hidden in the ruts and grooves and pits,
and by now, it may fear the light at the top
or distrust the hand that reaches out and down.
But only in finding your great need to trust and hope
can you hold on to your salvation.
Grasp the help offered to you,
Grasp it without needing to understand it,
Or where it comes from.
Hold tight and don’t let go,
and let your soul rise.
While it is true that only you can free yourself,
From the prisons and ruts you create in your life,
It is also true that none of us has ever used our wings,
Without needing the wind.
None of us knows where the wind begins,
or where it ends.
And who can control the wind?
Find that which is outside yourself,
In the world, in nature, in another, in The Other,
and let it be that which helps you rise.
Let your mind rest, and let your soul seek joyfully,
that which helps you rise from the ruts,
that which gives you hope,
that you may indeed, not only rise up from the ditch,
you may walk forward,
you may run,
you may even fly.
© Jane Tawel, July 28, 2021