Context — On the way down Yosemite’s Four Mile Trail I looked north across the valley toward the greatness of a two thousand foot waterfall. My eyes saw it but my mind was elsewhere. In that visual I realized I’d never intentionally made a choice to try or not try to be a bigwig.
Eight thousand feet from eye to waterfall
quadrupled height the water fell. Yet glaze
preoccupied view with stigmata’s pall.
That darkening concerned my dossier:
I’d spent my school years reading of the greats—
Ashoka, Christ, Mandela, MLK.
That hero-worship soon indoctrinates
desire to rank oneself. It did conflate
inspiring eminence with grounding fact.
And so I grew to systematically
doubt choices made, as each one could detract
from greatness. Pain’s source? Just fanatic me.
Removed from falls, I saw whole close concealed,
thereby revealing own Achilles’ heel.