What to keep, what to bring,
what to leave behind,
these travelers know.
What to remember, what to forget
of names, faces, words, handshakes,
kisses exchanged at depots,
airports, junctions, train stations,
oases of one kind or another—
spaces traversed, signs, souvenirs
collected or left behind, treasures
of the open road, or trash.
What feet may reach against
the mind’s arrogance soaring wingless
to Alpha Centauri light years away,
daring the arctic whalepath,
piecing a bacterium’s elegant minutiae
as it swims in amniotic oblivion
in a Petri dish. Is the Universe
ruled by chance or design? Who knows?
How far is far, what measures near,
enough or not, a little or too much?
Make no point to nail finality
on truth. Height, depth, breadth
are mere volitions faith strives to scale.
We know, or we do not,
the givens of the road gauge our chances
or anyone else’s. What else is there?
When to receive or turn away,
how to give kindness, what to hold back,
to flee danger, resist uncertainty.
And while the sea foams, or wind billows,
a fierce rain rattling the rooftops,
to choose to go, or stay
warm beside the fire,
amid strangers, heartened by light,
drink and bread, the rare shelter
of some sudden friends.
- The wisdom of travelers, Merlie M. Alunan
photography by http://www.iamshutterfairy.com/