By all means, find your place of satisfaction.
Rest on its summit and enjoy the view.
Or walk on its beaches and listen to the waves
    that roll timelessly onto its shore.
Peace. Contentment. Nirvana.
Whatever you call that thing you’re looking for
    — find it. It’s out there somewhere.

Or else it’s in there somewhere.
Close your eyes, if you’d rather.
Let it all fall away:
    the tension, the anxiety;
    wondering if you could have done better;
    keying yourself up (like an old, overwound watch)
        to do better next time.
Let it drop.
How far did you think you could carry that load?
All the way to Avalon? To Shangri-La?
To the Heaven that beckons from beyond the grave?
Don’t wait until you get there.
Drop it now.

Light, unburdened, you can hop a train
    or stow away on a tramp steamer.
In no time at all you can be there;
    sitting next to the warm fire,
    breathing the clean air.
Take a friend with you. Or not.
Or make a friend when you get there.
It doesn’t matter.

The only friends you really need
    are the Moon and the Sun.
Tell the Moon anything you want.
She won’t betray your secrets.
And the Sun will give and give and ask for nothing.
Humor its generosity. Rest.
Feel its strength in your arms and legs.
Let its warmth pool up behind your heart,
    and germinate into something completely new.

Look around you and know that this is real.
Stand up and say it out loud.
“This is the Place of Satisfaction.
Right here. I found it.”
Wait to hear your echo off the distant cliffs.
Then leave.

Go back to the other places of your life.
    where things are never quite right
    and there is always more to do.
Go back to the people who have moods and needs
    and are never as grateful as they ought to be.
Go back to your Self:
    imperfect, impatient, always wanting more.
The new thing inside you
    needs a place where it can shake things up.
Go back.

Take a little of the Sun with you,
    and remember to keep talking to the Moon.
Remember the sound of the waves and the wind and the crackling fire.
Remember the view from the mountaintop and the road that took you there.
But don’t look over your shoulder too often as you leave.
Look ahead.
There are sights unseen
    and people unmet
    and questions that have waited too long for answers.

Doug Muder
November, 2003