Free to Be
Last week someone spoke of having their favorite dream. And they knew they were having it while they were having it. That made me think of having my worst dream, the one where I'm falling feet first into water. I hold my breath waiting to hit the bottom so I can push back up to the top, but as I fall deeper and deeper the bottom never comes and I wake up in a breathless rush. Now when I don't realize this is a dream I wake up in a sweat and a panic, however when I realize it's a dream I just relax and let the fall happen, roll over and go back to sleep. When I realize it's a dream I actually enjoy the free fall sensation. Maybe that is what sky divers feel like as they leap from a plane thousands of feet over the earth. Maybe those sky divers have it right. Maybe you can only live life to it's fullest when you take the chance of loosing it entirely. As I get older I've got less of life to worry about loosing anyway.
Not that I want to take any fool hardy chances, but whether we are speaking of loosing our literal lives, our financial lives, our relationships, perhaps only by taking calculated risks can we taste the best that is out there. A missionary once told me of going to a poor area to work with disadvantaged people. He had brought his prize possession, his stereo, with him. Daily he locked his living space to safeguard the stereo. eventually someone stole it anyway. He said only after the stupid thing was taken from him was he free to do his work well. Only when he could stop worrying about this stupid stereo was he able to concentrate on his mission and help the people he came to minister to. I'm wondering as I get older what I have that is holding me back, what I am safeguarding that is keeping me from achieving an heretofore unknowable joy in my life. Am I standing on one side of an unlocked door with some vast treasure on the other side, one that was placed there just for me?
I've always been the type of guy to buy the insurance, the extended warranty. Selling those things is part of my job, so I guess that is normal, but when it comes to life, is the price too high? Is playing it safe robbing Peter to pay Paul? For example by holding people at arms length and not letting them know how I really feel about them do I protect my feelings from being hurt and at the same time keep some strong friendships from ever forming? By worrying about retirement savings do I sacrifice the now for a future that may never come? If my wife died next week I'd be devastated that I never took her to Europe, something she wants to do "someday". It's not that big a deal to me, but of course it's a moot point because we can't afford it. Or can we? And lastly, I met someone last night older than me that wants to learn to downhill ski this year. Never did it, not a bit afraid she may break her leg or worse, just has to try it, at least once, before she dies. Even if it kills her. Crazy?
David Blaine [6:07 AM]
The Big Trip
Yesterday my wife had to report to Detroit for Federal jury duty. J has never driven in city traffic before so I took the day off to drive her. It was kind of like Ma and Pa Kettle visiting the big city.
I was sure that when J explained she couldn't drive down there and that someone had driven her just so she could report in person, they would let her go. No dice. She was put on a pannel and excused only after being questioned for jury duty. I Guess the attorneys didn't want her on the jury for their case for whatever reason, but I think it was just because of the distance, we had to get up at 5 AM to be there in time. The judge was a hard case but the lawyers seemed nicer. Official reason was that J's store had been broken into multiple times and she may not be unbiased. While she frittered away the morning I tried to Christmas shop. Boy, downtown Detroit has gone down the tubes since I worked there 15 or so years ago. Other than newstands and lunchstands, there wasn't anything to be had in the way of shopping. I drove out to Dearborn to shop. J called me to pick her up about 1:00. It was early enough for us to do a final bit of shopping together including groceries for the big Christmas Day feast at our house. As we went to bed last night J said she had a good time spending the day with me. I was thinking the same thing, a good mix of time with and away from each other, I got to do my coffee shop/bookstore/sporting goods outlet thing without her and then we did the furniture store/grocery store thing together, and thank goodness I didn't have to report for jury duty, I may be been slapped with contempt of court!
David Blaine [1:14 PM]