In this case, out-of-bounds, because there are never too many times to insert a golf metaphor into any situation, so I’ll swing hard, I’ll swing away.
In golf, out-of-bounds means you’ve lost a stroke and possibly your ball – and in the case of desert golf, also risking a frolic with snakes or scorpions if you go retrieve it.
In skiing, heading out-of-bounds will void your lift privileges while putting your safety at risk – whereas out-of-bounds in most other situations in life means you’ve stepped across some real or perceived boundary of convention, or propriety – a minor faux pas or eating crow…
Not always followed by harsh consequences. But consequences none-the-less. Rebels and disagreeable personalities like me often find ourselves out-of-bounds, off-side, or afoul of someone’s line just crossed.
Hitting out of bounds in golf will penalize scores and make next shots more difficult – but we’ll see things differently, see them from an unexpected place, because out of bounds is way off course.
Out of bounds, of any kind, causes similar ‘perspective adjustments.’
Equilibrium exists on physical as well as emotional planes, nuanced and influenced by calendars and clocks, our scheduled obligations – because once these many elements get cross-threaded, and we are left with a ‘difficult to untangle’ mess. Each course-corrections seems to only un-zig some zags, leaving exhaustion in their wake.
When the clang and rattle of disorientation subsides to tidy smoother balance, we feel an inner hum, like new tires on fresh pavement on a summer day.
If we get a wood-screw in crooked, we can back it off and try again.
But a metal screw or a bolt, when cross-threaded, gets only harder – can’t move it forward or back it off without stripping threads and permanently damaging the screw or threads of whatever we are connecting to.
Much like people, when we mess up and get stuck – so easy to say it’s too hard to fix, we walk away too easily, we quit too soon.
Tight fits and cross-threading imply precision of some sort, and we know people dynamics are never precise and rarely predictable no matter how much time we spend practicing or theorizing.
We go out of bounds all the time.
We get cross-threaded, we get stuck, and our usual tools don’t offer much help – but there is hope for us all when we let down our guard and reach out to others for help.
Asking for help with problem A might bring advice that will help with problem B, or Q, or Z – which is not to second guess the helper or the value of the help, but we more often get something besides the right answer – we get the fresh idea, the ‘out of nowhere’ inspiration. Might not solve our problem, but it might turn our life around. The sources of such help will always amaze us, but not nearly as much as the solution will empower us.
Getting into a rhythm is hard.
I am getting back into one; harder still, is this process of getting back into rhythm after being off-track, off-balance, or off-course.