You don't understand me,
Any of you.
For your world is not the same as mine—
I, a frightened child lost in a wilderness
Of strangers and half-friends.
You are good people, all of you,
Yet you do not understand.
Even among you, I feel more alone than ever,
Like a traveler in a foreign land,
I am strangely out of place in your world.
I survive on scraps of your advice;
My confidence is tried daily by fresh chaos.

Your kindness is my anchor to your reality,
But there is so much I cannot comprehend,
So much, and so quickly disclosed.
Yet I am restless,
Immersing myself in new waters.
I christen myself with fear and hope.
A week seems infinite in progress,
Yet infinitesimal in passing.
Sometimes I feel my breath faltering.
Should I slow things down a little?
Or am I working hard enough at living?
One thing is certain;
There's no return to a simple childhood.
Life demands its price.
I only wish
I could enjoy my purchase.

But, ah,
No more!
No more of this complaining.
Would I truly prefer some quiet limbo?
Faith! Patience! Diligence!
These three words could take me much further
Than my doubts.
My doubts are like thorns,
Painfully hindering each step on my path.
Have I forgotten the proper purpose of Doubt?
To ward off dangerous decisions—
Not to make all decisions an ordeal.

George Chadderdon © 1995