The Birth of an Experiment

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

– William Stafford


“The Way It Is” reminds me that there is a guiding force. Well, perhaps it’s less of a “force” and more of a recognition, a pull toward evolution.

Sometimes it shows up as a faint instinct to turn this way instead of that. Or, it might come as a tiny feeling about someone or some thing. Sometimes it’s a recognition, or déjà vu.

However it shows up, though, it can take real courage to follow. In my experience, these threads don’t always make logical sense, and can often lead one off the well-trodden road. And who knows what we will find if we stray from the path?

Yet, I wonder…

What if I put these threads first? What if I treated these knowings as if they were the most important information in my day, in my life? What might change? What might fall away?

The Birth of an Experiment.


Grasping gossamer fibers of faith,

I yield to the greater Mystery.

Not knowing what lies ahead,

I clutch the twine of Life

And shiver with both

The thrill of possibility and

The threat of uncertainty.

To find the threads, I must looks to the edges;

Unable to see them straight on,

I gather them up in my peripheral vision.

I might find glimpses of them in a stranger’s eyes.

Or feel them the depths of my belly.

Or collect them in my dreams,

Or intuit them in freshly waking moments.

“Pay attention, pay attention…” they whisper.

I am listening.


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