There is an art gallery where I live and once I spotted a painting of distant purple hills and trees. It had the caption
‘As yet untrod’.
I was so taken by this that I bought a postcard print of this, framed it in an Ikea frame and have it on my bedroom wall.
As yet untrod.
I bought this two years ago and at the same time came across music and art all with a similar theme and forged this poem out of it all.
There is a path that lies as yet untrod
And it calls me.
There is a path which is only made by walking
And no one knows how far it goes
There is a path with no dead ends
And I am safely surrounded on every side
There is a road less travelled
And a voice saying ‘this is the way, walk in it’
There are mountains, valleys, deserts and oceans
And it is deep but I never fell
and it is high but the view is better up here
There is a door where no ones’ been before
And it feels like home
There is a tightrope to the great unknown
And it comes with a breathtaking view
There is the path of unlikeliness
And I will see rare beasts
and have unique adventures
And I am unashamedly myself.
On this path.
This sounded so hopeful to me.
The reality of putting one foot in front of the other on this path of unlikeliness has actually been blistering hard work.
And I have felt ashamed of myself.
Some of the rare beasts I would have much preferred if they stayed in their caves. I don’t really want any more character building adventures. As poet Mary Oliver says ‘the night is already wild enough and the road full of fallen branches and stones’.
The path is made by walking. Well, you know what? I am tired of walking.
I would like to follow some lines that have been trod before. This would be fine, a few cairns on the way that tell you, ‘someone has been this way before’. The view I can see seems not to have been tamed at all. It seems kind of wild. The kind of wild my crazy friend who says to me ‘I just want to go out in the hills by myself in a Bivvy and spend the night under the stars’. She lives in Scotland and is a bit of a fruitcake. I say to her ‘That sounds nutty but intriguing. I would like to do that on my own too… with you there’.
I have yet to spend a night on a damp hillside with nothing but some grandiose sleeping bag and a dear friend.
I may yet.
The problem with the wilderness is that it is, well, a bit wild. Unpredictable, untameable. I was never good at orienteering. I always got lost, failed to see the markers.
I do believe though that the journey is sacred. Whatever the terrain beneath our feet. There are no dead ends. There are enormous bogs or bramble bushes or fallen trees. But no dead ends.
There is a path, actually that is not true, there are paths, before me and before you. And they are as yet untrod. Dear fellow pilgrim I may need you on mine, may you meet travelling companions on yours.