The old man recalled a young man he had once been,
who had gone up on a mountain,
many of them in fact–
just as Jesus and Zarathustra had–
and who had ingested the things that God and Gaia had given.
He recalled all the things the young man had thought he was looking for,
none of which were at all what he was really looking for,
and he didn’t bother to be sad
about such misguided focus.
Nor did he regret that he couldn’t tell the young man
that he didn’t need to travel to find
that for which he sought.
Believing that he did
just proved that he hadn’t discovered it.
He laughed at the outward journeys young men make,
how they seek to find and go to be,
only to discover themselves in
other thens when and theres where
the only differences are the groupings of atoms
through which they walk and
the faces that they see.
He laughed at the notion that changing scenery
can change what a man can see,
knowing that, no matter who and what surrounds him,
if a man doesn’t see himself any differently,
the view never changes.
The unchanging view is good for the man
who likes who he sees when he looks inside himself,
but such is not a man who seeks to find or goes to be.
When such a man goes and looks,
he sees himself, and he is pleased;
he has already found what he is looking for,
as he is already who he wants to be.
Such a man can stop walking the mountain
and let the mountain walk him.
And the people he encounters are all more pleasant and welcoming
for such a man.
Those faces that might prove irksome or agitating
to the man who doesn’t like his own
are simply seen as part of a life that must be lived
and reminders of the good he takes
from living as he does.
He sees others going and hoping and seeking,
knowing that they won’t find
that for which they search
or be able to escape that from which they came.
The mountain might offer small respite and solace
for such a man,
but it will be fleeting,
and the mountain will provide less of these things
each time he makes the trek up