This is a piece I've thought about for some time and looked forward to writing. But now that I sit here trying to force it onto the page, it is appropriately unyielding. Our culture seems to dictate that everything in our lives is part of a plan. We are a people that thrive on control, of nature, our bodies, careers, our future. A raft taught me Culture doesn't always get it right.
Life is a fluid; it can not be controled, predicted, or forced into submission. What limited control we have over it is an illusion. This is a revelation that struck me as I struggled to turn my raft into the current on the Ocoee River. It turns out, slapping at the water with a piece of plastic is a very insufficient method of controling nature. For all the strength that I might gain, the river will always push me where it wants...
Life has done the same thing since I left this post as an unfinished draft several months ago. I have spent another stent in Wyoming, stopped off in Utah, Washington, back to TN, and finally ended up in Utah to live for the ski season. Life is an uncontrollable force and just as unpredictable. I have two jobs, live in a house with more people than comprise my immediate family and, while confused beyond hope of return, am unusually focused. Exactly what I am focused on isn't quite clear but there has been a definite shift within me. But a shift from what, and to what?
For starters, I have parted with the notion that I am on some crazy adventure, a trip to be defined by a beginning and an end. Moving here and there, after two years, this is no longer a hiatus from life as usual. My wanderings have replaced / become the usual. We must all discover the world on our own terms, learn certain life lessons as only experience can teach them. The world does not know how to lie, it is the questions we ask and what we expect to find that define the answers. The truth that irks us is the realization that we, perhaps, weren't looking for the truth when we first set out. Having substituted other's accounts of the world for natural experience of such, we give our imagination free reign to create the world before us. Verification of these delusions is what we set out in search of and they are wiped clean with every passing day outside one's home town. What if we could put off such delusions all together, set aside expectation and presentiment. Would we be able to find the exhilaration of childhood once again? Is it possible in adulthood to be astounded by every turn out our front door? I have found that it is.
Life has a current all it's own. "Progression in life is not a straight line to an end." There are twists and turns, tumultuous stretches, placid doldrums, and violent hydraulics that entrap you. None will emerge unscathed. We should wear the scars and bruises proudly, marks of the terrain we have conquered, or been conquered and reshaped by. For it does shape more severely than erosion ever will upon the Earth itself.