At the top of the tree was what I wanted.

Fortunately I had read books:

I knew I was being tested.

I knew nothing would work –

not to climb that high, not to force

the fruit down. One of three results must follow:

the fruit isn’t what you imagined,

or it is but fails to satiate.

Or it is damaged in falling

and as a shattered thing torments you forever.

But I refused to be

bested by fruit. I stood unter the tree,

waiting for my mind to save me.

I stood, long after the fruit rotted.

And after many years, a traveler passed by me

where I stood, and greeted me warmly,

as one would greet a brother. And I asked why,

why was I so familiar to him,

having never seen him?

And he said, “Because I am like you,

therefore I recognize you. I treated all experience

as a spiritual or intellectual trial
in which to exhibit or prove my superiority
to my predecessors. I chose
to live in hypothesis; longing sustained me.
In fact, what I needed most was longing, which you seem
to have achieved in stasis,
but which I have found in change, in departure.
Louise Glück