Friday, October 25, 2013

Tightropes

If you look at it the right way you can see the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett

I can see that. Maybe it’s naive. Even irresponsible in some ways. Yet I really can. But I don’t expect everyone to see it that way.

It’s like skydiving. I don’t want to do that. Some may think this assertion is just sensible but others may consider it cowardice. Sure sure it’s apparently safe. And exhilarating and a bucket list experience and inspirational. And so on and so forth. It probably is. But I’m not doing that. I’m just not.

However, I AM going to watch everyone else skydive. I will be a little angry about their foolishness and maybe even a little confused too. I will wonder, my face furrowed: why do you want to die this way? But I will cheer for them. And maybe shed a tear of relief when they land safely. I will cheer because I like to see other people experience moments like these. There’s something I find so exhilarating about witnessing dream-achievements. Is anyone else like that? Any other extreme risk-taker-fans who are totally good with that being enough, without jealousy, without regret? I know you’re out there too. But I get it. For fear of being judged too tame, we don’t much advertise.

I guess there was that one time I rode an insane roller-coaster. And once I...(despite some prolonged brainstorming, I couldn’t think of anything else crazy to list here.) But this doesn’t mean I haven’t taken serious risks. It depends on how one defines risk. Twice I’ve pressed restart on my career. Like a lot of people who live in Alberta, long ago I risked moving far far from home to come way way up here near the top of the world and Santa Claus and that truly was the risk in my life that made all the difference. Even now I risk sending these words out to you. Are these risks so minor in comparison to climbing Mt. Everest?

Maybe. Maybe not. It depends. I have learned that we can never really know how far another person pushes himself even when we can’t perceive exertion. In other words, what we perceive as victories for ourselves and for those who might be more plainly daring is debateable. Some tightropes are virtually invisible. 

2 comments:

Laoch of Chicago said...

Good post.

As always, I think often it comes down to balance in all things.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Nice post. I don't even like to watch people sky dive. I have a hard time watching some Olympic events, like the high-dive, the hurdles, balance beam...+-In some things I am the opposite of risk taking, and yet I've taken some pretty big risks, mostly involving trust. We all choose what we are willing to risk, I guess?

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