Leaping into a Canyon of Dreams
Subtitled: Shocked & Odd
I'm tired of blogging about politics for the moment. I have better things on my mind to worry about: namely, how I'm ever going to get through this week without looking more and more like Hank Paulson. In other words: real, real tired, kind of wrinkly, saggy, and definitely gaunt. Come to think of it, I look like my great-grandfather, who is long dead, but forefront in my memory in the likeness of Mr Paulson.
However, I'd instead like to pose a question to you readers, one which was posed to me recently. The question was, more or less: How do you know when the gig is up? In other words, you've made a bet on YOU. You've left something dear, walked away from conformity, and 'leapt, expecting the net to appear', as Julia Cameron so eloquently describes it in The Artist's Way.
But now that you've leapt, your arms are flailing, your eyes wide with terror that the net won't ever appear. You're falling and falling, and falling some more. Where is the bottom? Where is the net you believed in?
Your heart tells you the net will appear, at just the right time. Your head tells you the edge of the cliff wasn't so bad after all.
Your choice? Well, as it happens, there is a branch sticking out of that cliffside, the one you just jumped from. While you sail down into that canyon of dreams, slowly of course, because this is your imagination, you see that branch and you are welcome to reach out and grab it. In so doing, you'll crawl back to the edge of the cliffside, little by little, bedgraggled and with skinned knees. Who knows, maybe you'll break a limb. Worse, you'll end up with a broken spirit. But you'll make it back. And when you do, will you spend the rest of your days peering over the edge of the cliff, wondering what the canyon of dreams was all about? Or will you be glad to have crawled back to safety?
About a year ago, I sat with a journalist acquaintance, someone who's spent a lot of time covering wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now he's someone who's truly lived on the edge, and I'm not talking about just dreams. He's lived knowing each day that it could be his last. But that's not the point. The point is what he said about mankind.
He told me that he sees dead people. No, I don't mean in the Sixth Sense of it; I mean his view of people, of everyone, is that most people aren't alive. That, in essence, they have already died, having chosen to stop living. I was shocked at the odd concept. But I didn't disagree. After all, I have plenty of unconventional beliefs of my own.
So I pose this question to you: Who are the dead (wo)men walking? And if you do have a say in the matter of life or death, how do you know when choosing life is killing you?