If I am going somewhere new, the first thing I do is get directions.
First, I carefully weigh all options, routes, and modes.
I factor in weather conditions, traffic, and lack of signage.
I consider when I would like to arrive vs. when would be simply acceptable.
After all of this, I follow the pin on the map as I go, constantly evaluating
Just to make sure it has not lied and I am not, in fact, wildly off course.
I realize that, like most things, these behaviours are things I turn inward.
When I find confusing, new, distant, inaccessible places within myself
My inclination is to map the easiest, most foolproof route
To try and anticipate the roadblocks, detours, and awkward turns.
And so, these inner journeys become stressed and tense
Fraught with second guesses and stolen glances left and right
I come away with numerous excuses for the dark places
But absolutely no understanding of their depths.
My primal fears, selfish tendencies, and unhealthy obsessions
As indistinguishable and misunderstood as points on a foreign map.
The thing is, I am safe if these parts of me stay fuzzy and indistinct
Banished to distant, derelict corners of the map
If they are left on the outskirts, I do not risk crossing their curbs
Or seeing the ticking packages that bear my heart's address.
But, as I have often found in my travels,
These strange, scary, unfamiliar places are necessary connectors
Providing context for the stronger, safer spaces where I would rather reside
And so it must be in the topography of the soul -
Main streets rely on dirt roads and back alleys to give them meaning
And to remind wayward travelers that some routes are better than others.