Sunday, January 20, 2013

wonders and dangers in life

The world is full of so many things - opportunities, possibilities, innumerable new experiences that can broaden your perspective, tickle your imagination, shape your memories and thoughts. There is earth and there are the things that can grow in the earth. You are born a blank slate and you live and as you do, roots and trunks and branches for, reach higher upward every year. You see paths in front of you and you follow where they may lead.

There is wonder in the world, and there is also danger, conflict, pain. There are shocks, major and minor, sudden and long-in-coming. To stay still and hidden is to see so little, and yet to venture forth is to risk. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes you watch someone else fall. Sometimes the risk is abstract and sometimes very much physical. You know this, as you know of the good. And just and so often we allow ourselves to take for granted the small joys we can find in too do we minimize those dangers.

Every so often something happens to remind you of their existence: you spend an evening sitting on your living room floor giving your roommate ice and watching as a veritable stream of police walk in and out, take questions and statements, photographs. You listen to him say in disbelieve how does something like that happen right in front of your own house?

But such is the nature of life, of the World. There is always a balance, between withdrawing into yourself and engaging, between knowing your potential and using it, between guarding yourself or letting your hands be free to touch, to feel and explore and learn. Safety in the familiar or risk in the unknown - the exact measure and choice is different for everyone. You try to do what you an to make your own life and fulfilling and you can, as complete. I don't deny being reckless, to some degree. There are things I simply don't care about though I should, and there is that always burning curiosity, to see and do and run far...

Once upon a few years ago you spent a final week abroad walking around by yourself in a large foreign city because you wanted to BE there, to experience, to really see. You tell people about this, about how much you enjoyed those days, those long walks alone. You do not mention, usually, that one day among many - the restaurant and the waiter who followed you into the bathroom, who kept touching you and trying to hug you and kiss you as you writhed and said no and tried to get him to unblock the door; he did finally, and then followed you several blocks after you quickly paid and fled. It was unfortunate but it is a risk you take and such is life sometimes. You want to go somewhere strange and you do, and mostly it is amazing. You think someone is a mentor or friend and time spent with them is great until it's really not. So it goes.

So it goes and so you live where you do because you decided to spend a summer in an amazing place and thus only had a week to find somewhere to live that you could afford. So things happen, and yes, to be on guard, to be aware and ready to defend yourself if needed is good, but only to a degree. What is the point of living if you live in fear? What is the point if you make a list of so many things that sound amazing but that you will not do because there is risk? That is not achieving the concepts the world represents - for some perhaps there is no conflict, but everyone is different.

Guard but not too much, against the World. It has risks and and has wonders and to chase possibility means to encounter both.


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