THREE DIMENSIONAL LIFE, TWO DIMENSIONAL VIEW, ONE ATTITUDE
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Reality is compelling and straightforward, with no need for sugar-coating or glossing-up.
I don’t often lay awake in bed in the morning, but when I do, it’s interesting to consider the why of what rolls through my mind. Hopes and dreams have few limitations. Age, health, geography, capital, and logistics have little influence on those thoughts.
I’m not talking about a trek to either pole, running marathons, or being prime minister – which is not to suggest I think myself incapable, but those aren’t my hopes and dreams. Nor is it about taking my imaginary friend with me to colonize Mars. Those ceiling-stare mornings involve travel, not for travel’s sake, but to do worthy work in third world countries or in third-world parts of my own.
If I’ve learned anything meaningful and lasting that stands proud above any other learning, it is that people need to be lifted. Whether that means lifted out of poverty or lifted from horizontal to vertical with a spine installed. Life is about lifting. And if we aren’t the ones in need of lifting, we should be the ones lending our hand to lift them, should we not?
And sometimes, the person we need to lift is right under our own chin. I was reminded recently by someone I’d just met of this widely attributed writer’s mantra, ‘write what you know,’ and I’m glad of that reminder. That lifted me.
I’ve been writing some longer pieces lately, and some readers have commented they seem deeper, darker, indicating I’ve been down, depressed, and gloomy lately. There hasn’t been any sudden change, just a turnaround in perspective. If that is going to work for me, readers should expect some discomfort.
This makes me wonder if we crave change or if it is more about our appetite to see how things would be different. I wrote a note the other day to someone I want to meet, someone who wants to meet me – and when there might be a meaningful connection in the offing, that can be daunting.
Second-guessing what we might say is a near-accurate description of it. It’s a speculative theoretic conversation in your own head (in this case, mine) about what might be going on in the other person’s head (in this case, hers), so I’m wrestling with that. In one moment, it seems potentially profound and severe – and in the next moment it’s not, because so many things can happen to alter what we (meaning the collective we) might want to happen from happening, and then something else happens – and we say, “Hey, look what happened!” because the result was nothing we expected or might have predicted.
I see life coming at me from every direction – multi-vectored physics puzzle on conflicting wavelengths – and nobody has the right lab equipment to measure a life. It is not height or weight, girth or velocity, not altitude or attitude – it is the magical intersection of drive/desire, opportunity, and convincing at least one other person that you are sane, or at least the right brand of crazy.
We get to decide how we live, which is far more critical than writing about how we might have …
We get to decide to travel alone in life, which we can do while being one fish in a large school of fish, but there is a conscious difference, a conscious decision.
It is to be.
Or not to be.
Is there any other question?
Reaching out – exploring a connection with anyone, as simple as a phone call, business inquiry, chance meeting in a grocery store check-out line – anywhere we explore knowing someone, there is an internal calculation. I don’t think this is conscious, but I believe it is real. Not in terms of calculating risk or logistics – it’s a gut feeling. Actually, our physical gut has nothing to do with it, but that’s how we describe it – feeling it in our gut. In my work life, I once heard someone describe this in a fantastic way I’ve adopted: “Is it real, is it worth it, and can I win?”
This can serve well in evaluating whether to chase an immense opportunity – but it’s not foolproof.
Sometimes it’s the innocuous little unlikely prospects that hold the greatest consequential potential.
When we meet some new voice on a telephone or are introduced to someone at a social gathering – do we listen to our gut, do we do a quick analysis/calculation? Or do we casually ‘see how it goes’ and not worry about assessing the wisdom of those ruminations?
Life involves plenty of heavy lifting, but better to have lifted than having sat, frozen, and afraid of lifting.
Mark, you may wish to give up the frenetic life for the suburbs. Quiet is everywhere although I have a couple of mourning doves roosting in my evergreen. And, that pillowy duvet – well, it covered the ice on my driveway. I went from standing to sitting and a sore elbow – sorta like send to sent!, SB, Calgary, AB