Ahead of Ourselves
As far as the unclouded eye can discern,
birth is either an accident or a miracle,
a hope realized and a prayer answered
or a random crisis that begs for attention.
As well as the uninformed mind can decide,
the families where we take our starting shape
and find our entry into this world of seasons
may not come from any choice we make or remember.
We emerge as kittens from Schrödinger's box
without any hint to our ultimate destiny,
left alone to all the devices we must discover
so guesses may be ventured about our fates.
We search for our stories, as if already written,
but in the journey from aimless fingerpaints
to the calligraphy with which we pen each script
in our plot, we find the writing is our own.
The sky of time showers upon our uncovered heads
the rainfall of effects that follow our choices,
each one often made before we felt any drizzle
and could think to seek out any shelter nearby.
The winds of happenstance keep changing direction
to blow their bit of chaos everywhere we walk,
mocking our efforts to predict their weather
and spoil any surprise that arrives on the breeze.
We crave a hidden almanac that no one has seen
and with it tame providence like a groomed pet
that listens for the commands of our fickle will
as if obedience was maybe something we were owed.
We plead for holy vision that peeks and peers
ahead at pages which the world has yet to turn
so we can cheat the magic of life's mysteries
by stealing answers to the questions yet unasked.
About the Poem
This poem is something of a stream of consciousness about the simultaneous efforts to understand our places in the world, to understand the impulse to forge predictable order amid a universe that is inherently random, and to resist the temptation to see ourselves as the center of all dominion. Here is a video interpretation of this poem, read by David:
Ahead of OurselvesThis poem is something of a stream of consciousness about the simultaneous efforts to understand our places in the world. View on YouTube
This poem is previously unpublished in print. This poem was finished December 19, 2003.