It’s not easy to step out onto the edge. There’s something about that place if transition from one state of being to the next that really gets our attention. We get butterflies in our stomachs and our knees begin to tremble. We can feel our hearts pounding as adrenaline surges through our veins. That’s the feeling I would have during a repelling exercise or leaping from the tall cliffs into the water. In my young mind I knew that this is what it felt like to fly. Fear, excitement and recklessness all come together to form the experience. When I was a kid I had the opportunity to spend some one on one time with some of the Blue Angels flight team and I like the way one of the pilots described this feeling. He said that “There’s no difference between the thrill of flying and the fear of falling.” His point was that it’s in overcoming your desire to remain comfortable with your circumstances that we become more than we was yesterday.
It doesn’t have to be piloting the latest and hottest high performance jet at beyond the speed of sound. It doesn’t even have to be leaping into water or sliding down a cliff on a rope. (In fact especially not the cliff in the feature image. There’s no water under the rocks here and it’s not a legal place to repell from.) It could be as simple as deciding to strike up a conversation with that person who you’re interested in or starting a blog where you share your deepest thoughts with the world. Whatever it is know that when you overcome that shaky feeling that this is what it’s like to fly.
Life is a lot like music. The musical scale contains only twelve basic notes. And yet, those twelve notes have spawned every song known to mankind. Life also has its basic elements and rhythm. While I’m not a musician myself my understand is that it’s the bridge that ties it all together. As life changes from one phase to the next we look for a bridge to facilitate the transition. Some bridges are shorter than others but all of them are temporary. How bad would your favorite song be if it was all bridge? We’d miss the best part of the song. Life’s bridges may not be the best part of life but they do take us to those places. We just need keep moving forward.
Not every open doorway should be explored. Too often we fail to recognize the difference between can we and should we. The old saying is that “God doesn’t close one door without opening another.” I’ve found this to be true but I’ve also learned that Satan also opens doors. Sometimes it takes a lot of prayers to figure out which is which. And, always trust that gut feeling that tells you that something doesn’t seem right. Especially when you can’t see what waits in the shadows just beyond the threshold.
About tonight’s Feature image. Up until recently I thought this abandoned building was a train station but I have learned that it’s actually an abandoned bowling alley. We live at the northernmost range where Kudzu can grow. Every summer the kudzu completely swallows not just the building and every winter it all but vanishes.
Patiently she sat in the meadow waiting for her turn. She dreamed of the day that her opportunity would come. She made lists and organized. Everything was ready. She only needed a chance. She wrote herself letters and kept them in a journal. Each on starting with the words “To my future self…” She kept all her plans stacked neatly in a box so that everything would be perfect once her opportunity arrived. She never got stressed out by the wait. She kept faith. Each morning she walked to the little meadow by the road and waited. She was there as sun rose and when the sun set on the opposite horizon. Sometimes the wind would come and she had to hold on so tightly to her little box of plans that her knuckles would turn white but she was fierce and prevailed against the wind. Other days the rain fell so hard that the meadow seemed to become a lake but still she would not be defeated. She held her little box of plans high above her head so they would not be washed away. When the snow and ice came the fire in her heart blazed brightly and once more her little box of plans remained secure. Nothing could rob her of her dreams. She was strong and beautiful and determined. She only lacked one crucial element. The opportunity she waited on never came to this meadow. And she waits there still.
We can have the best laid plans.
We can have the heart of a lion.
We can have all the faith in world.
And, we can have too much patience when waiting for an opportunity instead of traveling beyond our comfort zone and creating the opportunity ourselves.
Living is an action word. It might be difficult to know which action is the right one but inaction is the wrong state of being. Sure, timing is important. But time is also fleeting. Don’t wait too long. Do something every day to achieve at least a little piece of your goal. That’s how progress is made.
Tonight I have a thought that I just can’t seem to suppress. A few days ago a meme came up on my Facebook feed. The meme asked what super power you would choose and one of the choices was time travel. I began to think about all the science fiction stories on t.v. and in books as well as movies and how they depicted time travel. Normally they accelerate the subject and the surrounding environment freezes. (Except for Dr. Who, he just vanishes with a psychedelic whirring noise. ) I have a slightly different concept. I think that time travel would require one to leave time-space completely and reenter at the destination point. It’s a concept that I came up with while working on a science fiction story. The complicated part would be that time isn’t really a specific quantity and destiny isn’t fixed. Our destiny is a result of our choices and our choices are influenced by our past experiences. Therefore, a time traveler who exited time-space would have to choose between infinite possible futures and perceive infinite past choices that were never made. The quote that applies is “Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions.” (Which is attributed to so many people that I’m not sure who actually said it. ) The obvious temptation for our time traveler would be to go back and correct the mistakes of the past. But in doing so he would prevent the experience of future and therefore gain no wisdom. Of course being outside time-space he would have all of eternity to explore the possibilities without any effect on the present. Perhaps the lesson he would learn would be to leave well enough alone and let things happen naturally. He would learn how important his past mistakes were and why he must learn from them.
Do you ever wonder where all the great thinkers are today? The inventors, philosophers and problem solvers? Who are the real world leaders? I think I have an answer. They are you. You are the greatest resource on planet Earth. You, the individual. The human mind is the only known creation on planet Earth with the ability to reason beyond the moment. You have the capacity to dream and to forge that dream into a reality. Sure some are more skilled at different forms of creativity than others but that’s a measure of quality not capacity. As a human, you are singularly able to change your world to suit your vision. That’s why quite time is so important. You generate your visions in those times when you can get away from the noise of all the other voices in the world and have free thought. It’s how you sweep away the clutter of the mind and bring dreams into focus to obtain that clear vision.
The featured image is one such place where I like to go. It’s a spot on the Gauley River just below Summersville Dam. As the water pours out of overflow tunnels it forms class six rapids and the roaring river blocks out the noisy world. This is birthplace of many dreams and a refuge for a busy mind.
The symbolism of the crossroads is well known. A person stands at the intersection pondering a decision wandering which way to turn in order to reach a goal. Crossroads are everywhere in life. I have observed a certain amount of anxiety associated with life’s crossroads. But, isn’t a crossroads as much an opportunity as it is anything else? It’s an opportunity to change your course, continue ahead or, for some situations it’s a place to turn around and correct a past error.
The most probable cause of the anxiety is not knowing what lies ahead. There are resources we have access to. Maps, compass and the knowledge of those who have been there. For life’s crossroads I turned to the Bible and church elders.
There’s no need to be anxious about coming to a crossroads. It’s really all a matter of perspective and planning.