Leaving No Trace




Leaving No Trace

A large group of cranes pass over.
It is often the very details that make life so bland.  Who is to say what is important, what we must focus on, what we must attain?  How is it possible to find something that is not limiting, that does not differentiate to the point of infinity.  When cranes fly, they never get lost because they are high above the details; they leave no trace because they need not remember where they are going.  We are always leaving traces in our lives: waking up early, receiving a strange text message, reading a stressful email, having the thought of getting away....  We take these things with us, but the longer we carry them along, the more they transform into something else, which in turn transforms us; the stressful email turns into anxiety, the thought of getting away turns into longing, and so our path, at each instant, whether we know it or not, is traced out for us, predictably unpredictable in the most common way.
We may feel that we are the same person because we have so many traces that lead us back to something meaningful in our lives, but in reality we have only been pushing details from one side to the other, making sure the world still turns the way we want it to.  We are the same person because we put some much emphasis on the physical aspect of life, but mentally and spiritually we have atrophied into the crane that no longer knows how to fly.  So we stay along the banks, keep muddying the waters, until the source of our true nature has been pushed so far down that it cannot nourish the land we live on.  
Let our thoughts and actions be like the crane that flies, passing things by, enjoying or not enjoying them, but not taking them with us when we go.  The one who lives with no traces in life, knows everything when it happens.

 Douglas Thornton

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