Walk away from the soup when all the ingredients have been chopped up and the salt and pepper and cayenne stirred in. Walk away so the soup can gestate.
Walk away from on-campus teaching when I realize these are not the students I can reach; these students don’t want to be reached; this is not a learning environment I want to teach in when it is dominated by square chairs and square desks and smart boards and windows that won’t even open. Walk away. Walk away and find other students and other ways to teach.
Walk away from depressed doctors mired in doom. Walk away as fast as you can.
Walk away from certain friends or family when the talk gets political and starts to spiral in on itself, sucking hope down the drain.
Walk away from my tendency to throw mental hand grenades at the young men poisoned by raging hormones who race down Chamisa Trail on their dirt bikes or four wheelers or souped-up pickup trucks, and instead send them a prayer: may you become a kind and peaceful man who knows how to channel his violence and aggression in a beautiful and creative way.
Walk away from carving when my left pointer finger starts to buzz with stray electrical jolts and my right hand goes numb from swinging the hammer, and the grey stone whispers through its eons of compaction that it does not want to open up. Not today. Walk away to chip another day.
Walk away from my own writing when movement will help me find my wiggle and voice again. Walk away so I can see from a new perspective, the negative spaces, the shadows, what isn’t being said. Walk away to the mailbox, like right now.
Walk away from dismantling the compost pile and wheelbarrowing the sifted compost throughout the garden when my back and my knees say “hey that’s enough shoveling. That’s more than enough. You need to lie down.”
Walk away from my desk and stack of jail mail when I start to feel enthusiasm and insight wilt like the bottom flowers on the Gladiola stalks cut before last week’s early September snow. Walk away so I can feel fresh again.
Walk away from Henry if we are fighting and I fear that a toad is about to leap out of my mouth. Walk away, regroup, and then turn around to deal with whatever it is.
Walk away so I can listen and feel, walk away so I can wait, walk away so things can change, walk away so I can see that they have changed. Walk away so I can pray.
Walk away from Esperanza and she is liable to follow me hoping for a scritch along her belly or inside her furry ears.
Walk away even from the cozy living room and Henry’s sweet company because the light outside is washing everything with burnt gold and the San Juans are backlit with pink and salmon and mauve, and the red orb which makes all life possible is dipping behind them.