Amounting to Something

pine trees growing on a high peak of red rock in Zion National Park, photo by Mark R. Turner 2004
“Pines Atop Red Peak,” Mark R. Turner, Zion National Park, USA, 2004; another instance of standing transfixed with the aspect of those trees witnessing to me of the truth about being. Get this image with the poem below along with 15 others in my book Marking the Journey: holding the past, reaching ahead by clicking HERE.

The greatest pressure in life for many people is to “amount to something.” To them it means to be successful in performing, productivity, gaining position, and receiving honor. It charges the young to focus energies, fuels wannabes to work harder, makes winners feel like they succeeded. It faces us down with resistance and intimidates some to quit trying.
And when we achieve a level of success, we experience varying levels of insecurity about whether we have after all become complete. We cannot climb high enough; the striving never ends.
Yet we can imagine a different way of life; it does not fit with the dominant world view, but we can choose not to pledge allegiance to society’s grid of expectations. We can turn our desire to know who we are created to be, rise toward that, content with who we are at the moment and confident of who we are becoming, not measured by quantities and hierarchies of materiality or admiration.
We can receive the lesson of the seed, the plant and the fruit held in the greater nurturing reality. We can trust that we are becoming … always becoming.

Without trying
To contain it
In language,
Or build it,
Acquire, amass,
Know it all;
Hold the fading,
Moral behavior
Getting more-less;

Openly wait
In the ground
Rising unknown,
Nurtured away
Toward a beckon
We feel beyond;
A life form

Mark R. Turner
Amherst House, 2016
Julian, CA, 2017

2 Responses

  1. Judith Dupre

    Thanks much, friend Mark, for your fine-whittled take on a major life-dilemma. So very prevalent, probably universal, eh?
    May the Lord bring great blessing to you & Donna in your new home! What a great view out back! Almost as stunnng as Julian pines? Grace indeed!

    • markart

      Thanks, Judith — We are very blessed in the new space and glad for the moderate climate this winter …