Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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?


MET said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MET said...

Why don't they just let you edit your typos rather than making you delete - leaving a notice that you deleted... or do they?

Loved what you wrote, of course...
I think the key is to be honest with yourself about what's truly in your soul (not what you think you want... but what you actually want) and keep your heading true despite the storms in your path. (does that sound like a fortune cookie, or what?)

As for your necklace - it's signature you. Please don't melt it down! hahaha Some of those stocks will be worth something to someone someday!

Somnambulist said...

Ummm... can I have one on sport?

Speaking as someone making the last preparations (checking the parachute is folded correctly, etc.) to follow in your pioneering footsteps, and who is also very afraid of heights, your cliff-top analogy was a little disconcerting... however, I know this: I am not interested in scrabbling for the scrawny branch. There may or may not be a pathway back up the cliff-face. But I must find out what is below the swirling mist...

I too talk to and look in the faces of those who have stopped striving for life on a daily basis and I pity them. They would not want my pity of course, nor my counsel, for they have a different perspective, and it is far more important for them to protect their own space.

I was accused not so long ago of being an "empire builder" and took great offence for two reasons. Firstly, I view "empire building", at least in a negative context, as the process of indiscriminate acquisition, whereas I believe any business growth I have personally achieved in recent years to have been organic. Secondly, because the accusation came from one of the biggest perpetrators of political acquisition in my business vicinity.

After my annoyance subsided, I just realised that, like many people with a guilty conscience, he was simply accusing me to deflect from his own misdemeanours. Nevertheless, he, in my opinion, is an example of one of your dead-men-walking.

Great post Patsou. Respect.

Anonymous said...

ONLY because of my unimpeachable trust in your intellect... if you can tell me why the big 3 deserve a bailout then I will vote for Obama. As it stands right now, I'm writing in Mitt Romney/Tim Sexton -he's a hoot!
p.s. you sure are purdy... as purdy as you were at junior prom.

Patsou said...

Anonymous: De-frock yourself! Hmm, that's a bit extreme. Alternatively, who are you? Someone I went to H.S. with? Anyway, why the bail-out? Because if we don't, you won't be worried about your incremental tax dollars (which are minimal anyway); you'll be worrying about where your next meal is coming from.

Patsou said...

Somnambulist: You're one of the last people I'd call an empire builder. However, I'm more interested in understanding your reference to your 'preparations', as in imminence of the parachute jump.

Somnambulist said...

Difficult to paint the full picture, especially while still engineering said preparations. There are lots of different factors at play, but I'll leave you with one for starters: I have never fully been at home with the concept of being a money-maker purely for the sake of making money. Recent deveopments in the banking world have exposed the very worst aspects of its endemic 'greed-blindness', and I really no longer feel comfortable being a part of it.

Time to do something a bit more creative methinks ;-)

Somnambulist said...

Hurrah for Obama!!

p.s. you've been tagged!