Some of life's vicissitudes
come at us with alarming speed,
and these, we prepare ourselves
for. We imagine ourselves with lightening reaction timing ala' James Bond,
with the mental preparedness of an Hindu adept. Usually, we respond like
mush in the middle of winter.
Other challenges creep up on us,
like a smoldering fire, and fully engulf us before we have time to appreciate
their full outline. We might think we have prepared for these eventualities,
as well, but such is seldom the case.
So we tend to be a reactive species,
even with plenty of advanced notice that things are NOT going to go our
way. Like earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, mud slides. These
things nearly always happen again, and nearly always in similar locations.
Yet, we rebuild, somehow entertaining the belief that, next time, tragedy
will skip our house, our block, our city, our life.
Time is funny on the road. Some
days go by like greased lightening, and we are at a loss to explain what
occurred in the interim. Other times, days seem like months, and we tremble
at the thought that we will never emerge back into shared reality. Our
early years took forever, and our later years won't wait for us to grasp
their portent. So we find ourselves hanging on for the dearness of life,
always in a reactive mode. Who can really prepare for life?
You know those moments,
where you are driving along a country road, and you come upon a planted
field, or an orchard, everything in a perfect row? You remember that visual
treat, where the rows first seem straight and essential, and suddenly you're
gaze shifts just a bit, and now you are looking at a slight angle to the
rows? And now, there are new rows, going off at an angle? It's the same
way with time.
One moment, you are looking down
a path, a trajectory of intention, and desire, and aimed effort. Suddenly,
through no fault of your own, the perspective shifts, and now, you are
looking down another probability line, and it looks as interesting, or
as frightening, or as boring, as the one you thought you were on all along.
Or, it is an eminently different line, and all you can think is, hell,
unnoticed until now.
We choose, and enter,
Rightly or wrongly,
one of the many.
We moan about the consequences
of free will.
Tell them what they've won, Mel!
Not a solid certainty, the door
leads into unexpected chambers, the heart changes endlessly, I am no longer
what I was, others are no different than that, who imagines most moves
furthest, this is more certain than we can know.
Remember the story of the Chinese
boxes, a box within a box within a box, so on, ad infinitum. Each one opened
has a new set of rules, another clue to unravel before the next box can
So the way ahead often seems, a
day a box, perhaps a year, or ten, except we work from the inside out,
because the boxes keep getting larger, more intricate, trickier. Step lightly,
fewer tracks to cover, fewer tracks to circle back upon; boxes have circles,