Thursday, December 27, 2007

The lightbulb went DING!

While driving to work today I had a minor epiphany. This occurs often during the morning commute. My mind suddenly surfaces from the muddle of drowsiness, like your ears popping during a change in air pressure. Or like a movie playing in reverse of a pool of murky water de-mixing as a drop of blue food coloring de-falls from a body of crystal clear water. I was pondering the common and almost pesdestrian analogy of life as a journey when suddenly I realized the stupendous aptness of it all.

If life is a journey, there are many paths, roads & highways from one place to another, connecting people, places & ideas. Some routes take longer, some more difficult but it is all relative to the person taking the route. Usually on a journey, we have a destination and we plan our route (some of us do anyway) but as in life, our planned route may not work out. Natural disasters may have blocked certain roads. Earthquakes, freak storms, bodies of water get in our way but we choose our path.

The main roads & highways are pretty much set by the larger community as a whole. They're not moving anywhere and the experience will be similar for almost everyone on that road, but we choose the paths that lead to those roads. We base our path decision on many variables, such as the presumed ease with which a path may be completed, perhaps the scenery is what gets us. Some of us actually choose the treacherous mountain climb for the thrill, the excitement. Maybe we choose it out of familiarity.

What is fascinating is the frequency with which many of us will choose the same paths even though in the back of our minds, we KNOW that it leads nowhere. In fact, it may even have led us into some sinkhole or swamp that took us forever to get out of. Did we merely forget this fact? Some of us learn, we make maps, mark down the hazards and set out a new course.

There are others of us...who are not as smart, or perhaps brave is a better word. We are afraid to explore unknown territories and in the end, we walk around in circles going through the same motions, experiencing the same obstacles, never quite settling in one place for long. Yet, never quite happy with where we are now either. There are people who finally settle in where ever they find themselves. Somewhere between neither here nor there they attempt to make a place called home. It is possible to find happiness this way if that is where you feel comfortable but I am afraid many of us are merely paralyzed with fear, forced to settle while still imagining ourselves at the final destination we initially set out to reach but were not hardy enough to complete the remainder of the journey.

Another point to add to this is that every travellor should know to some degree, how far their means of travel can really get them. A horse can only take you so far before it tires and needs refreshment. Can you abandon & sacrifice all other needs in order to ensure the horse is fully nourished for the entire journey? What about your companions? Will you leave them on the trail in order to lighten the load for your horse, to get somewhere faster? What about knocking other people on the same path down to clear the way for yourself?

I bet there is more to draw from this analogy and it's just too much fun to visualize it. A diagram should be drawn to symbolize this concept. In time...

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