The Map

The map we carry in our minds

charts the formation of who we are

where we’ve come from where we’ll go

and unintentionally how we’ll get there

It is not a map anyone will ever see

except that we live by that map 


At birth my map was empty

save for the light green & brown

background marking genetics & context

A little circle appeared & within it a dot

eight little dots appearing as one

Family was my first community


With time the dots scattered

Some dots faded from off the page

others faintly drifted off into other circles

but all moved on the page leaving tracks

back roads or freeways or rail-lines

strewn at last across a landscape


We’ve travelled far to get here

wherever here is for us right now

And looking back the road recalls it all

those spectacular ascents of the Rockies

the long sojourns in Death Valley

the confused visits to Broadway


We’ve experienced much

sometimes even learned from it

in the end were always shaped by it

even when we thought we weren’t

In the telling of the journeys our

tomorrows will become clear


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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9 Responses to The Map

  1. Morgan says:

    This is so very true and so beautifully expressed :)


  2. Thank you, Morgan, you’re always far too kind to me . . .


  3. “The only journey is the one within” – Rainer Marie Rilke


  4. A map I am having a hard time navigating right now….realizing I could use the help of a blueprint.


    • The map is a better metaphor: just imagine – what you see are the contours of the land, the roads, rivers, villages, and towns . . . Underneath the page of the map there is the Divine Magnate of Providence, invisibly pulling you here and there like metal filings . . . . Soon all the aspects of your life are aligned once again and you find yourself where you were Divinely meant to be . . .


      • Then I am visiting the Valley right now. I believe in the Providence and trust in it, too. I thank you, Peter, for once again, being my Helper.,…Grateful


    • Heather, you’re most welcome! And Blessings . . .


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