Rising from the Ruts

by Jane Tawel

brown sand near body of water during sunset


Rising from the Ruts

By Jane Tawel

July 28, 2021


As we grow older,

We slow down, glitch, molder.

And everything sticks

or contracts–

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—

have created.

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 it.

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,

and climb.


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

Published by

Jane Tawel

Still not old enough to know better. I root around and explore ideas in philosophy, spirituality, poetry, Judeo-Christian Worldview, family, relationships, and art. Often torn between encouragement & self-directed chastisement, I may sputter, but I still keep trying to move forward.

14 thoughts on “Rising from the Ruts”

  1. Jane, this is absolutely beautiful. It speaks to me. I love the words that say even those with wings need the wind. You’re a beautiful writer ~and human. Hugs and peace my friend. Karla 💚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Karla, as always, for being wind beneath wings — mine and so many others — as you so often do. I feel the hug, sincerely, and feel warmer because of it. May your day today and every day, bring you joy in the journey, Jane

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jane, what a precious response. It brought tears to my eyes. I’ve been remembering you daily in my prayers. I’m so glad you feel the hug! I feel your back. May joy always be in both our journeys. Love and hugs my wise and loving friend! 💛❤️💚🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment. I read something interesting recently that your comment has me thinking of — that the spirit is different than the soul. I think other cultures and times understand this much better than I can from my centuries of Westernized DNA, but your comment for some reason made me want to meditate more on what this might be able to mean to me. Thank you and may your day be full of light and love, Jane

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, hannahtk. The first job I had out of college was to work in an elder care / nursing home facility. What a hard and humbling experience for this self-centered twenty year old that was! I am grateful to this day for that experience as I spent most of my twenties, stoking my ego and pride and losing so much in life of true value. Now that I am grey and older, I realize the prejudices that at least our nation has towards older people, and yet, there is also a freedom that I wish young people could have — a freedom to “be” — be myself, be in the moment, be present — not always doing, doing, doing — but being. What an amazing human being you are to have had an “elder care business” — it can be such a thankless “job” and it is so much more than a job. I hope now you are finding ways to restore and rejuvenate what that kind of “missional”, calling (not job) can deplete in yourself and then you will find again, what that loving care you gave has given you for a lifetime. I feel that people who do what you do — we should all be saying “thank you for your service” — and I do wholeheartedly thank you, even on behalf of elders I don’t know. Peace to you today, Jane


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