“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” — Ursula K. Le Guin
Thank you Michelle for inviting Words for the Weekend to join in your “Life is a Highway” series! We’re honored to be featured with so many talented writers and friends. We hope you enjoy the personal journey selections we curated for you and your readers. May you all find what you seek in your journeys ahead, and may the road rise up to meet you all. Love, Christy and Jennie
I don’t want to wait anymore I’m tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter
I don’t know if I’m scared of dying but I’m scared of living too fast, too slow
Regret, remorse, hold on, oh no I’ve got to go
There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on
Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road . . .
“My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit from Stay Gold
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
― Joseph Campbell
I know there’s California, Oklahoma
And all of the places I ain’t ever been to but
Down in the valley with
These are the places you will find me hidin’
These are the places I will always go
These are the places I will always go
I am on my way back to where I started . . .
“Down in the Valley” by The Head and the Heart from The Head and the Heart
“All journeys eventually end in the same place, home.”
― Chris Geiger
“Untitled” [A journey continues…]
by Mark Strand
A journey continues until it stops
A journey that stops is no longer a journey
A journey loses things on its way
A journey passes through things, things pass through it
When a journey is over, it loses itself to a place
When a journey remembers, it begins a journal
Which is a new journey about an old journey
A journey over time is different from a journey into time
An actual journey is into the future
A reflective journey is into the past
A journey always begins in a place called Here
Pack your bags and imagine your journey
Unpack your bags and imagine your journey is done
If you’re afraid of a journey, don’t buy shoes
“Untitled” [A journey continues…] by Mark Strand from Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More. © Turtle Point Press, 2000.
“Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
“No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections. Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads.”
― Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.”
― Joss Whedon
“Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”
— Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect
by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.
David Whyte recites Mary Oliver’s poem “The Journey”:
and David Whyte recites his own poem “The Journey”:
by David Whyte
Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again
on an open sky.
has to be
so you can find
the one line
Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out
someone has written
in the ashes of your life.
You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.
from ‘House of Belonging’ by David Whyte
“They spoke less and less between them until at last they were silent altogether as is often the way with travelers approaching the end of a journey.”
― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
“When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there.”
— Japanese Proverb
This week’s playlist features music from Janis Joplin, The Beatles, The Eagles, Jimmy Cliff, and more:
Thank you again Michelle for hosting us! xoxo