Saturday, April 25, 2009

Time, the Juggernaut

Does the future approach us, or do we approach the future?  That is to say, do we stand still to have future events wash over us, or are events in the future like marks on a road, and we are compelled inevitably towards them?  

I guess there is not really a difference, perhaps only a difference in the feeling of it.  Well to me it feels that the future is laid out on some dark highway, waiting for me to come to it.  I wish that I were able to follow this road at my leisure, to saunter along pausing before large events, going slowly and carefully through important moments and taking my time in the enjoyable ones.  But the reality is that that I'm in the passenger seat of a mechanical driver, one who is going way too fast.  

No.  No this is not quite the feeling.  The feeling is more that of being pressed forward.  The feeling of standing in front of some giant roaring machine that moves inevitably forward, pressing and scraping me along the road.  It is a machine I have to run to stay in front of, one that does not stop if I trip and fall down, but continues to shovel me forwards along the abrasive asphalt, scraping and burning me until I am able to climb to my feet again.  Deadlines and dates approach far too quickly, and are lost in the noise of the past even faster.  
The most concerning date for me right now is the departure date for this trip, and I am pressed towards it at a remarkable clip.  Of course I am the one who signed up for this.  I am here by choice and have this goal by choice.  But it's the same kind of choice you make when you get into a roller coaster you are anxious to ride.  One that clambers and clanks along inevitably clawing towards a terrifying drop.  'Wait! Wait! Wait! No, I'm not ready! Wait! N0-!'

And then, light in the gut, you drop over the edge.  Moments later of course you laugh and smile and get back in line to do it again.  So I frantically gather and prepare myself, and run in front of the machine and ready for the drop...

Ha ha, I make this seem altogether too serious.  I look forward eagerly to my trip, but it approaches quickly! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Looking over the edge

As you can probably imagine, the preparations for a trip such as the one I am planning are an emotional as well as a logistical challenge.  I am confident and strong in my desire and resolve to go, but do not hesitate to admit that at times the magnitude of what I am setting out to do seems impossible.  In the middle of the night I sometimes do feel that the loneliness of it could break me, that I am being a fool for wanting to do it at all.  But these moments are rare and brief, and I do not allow them to take root and grow.  

I feel like I am standing on the edge of a precipice, staring down cautiously over the steep edge, dizzied by the height.  In a couple of months I'm going to step off of that edge and throw myself into an brutal and lonely world.  I am aware of these things, and I can feel it.  The emotion is what you would expect: a rushing mixture of trepidation, excitement and wonder.  All these feelings swirl and surge together, stirred and strengthened by worries about my health, can my body do it? my mind, is my mind strong enough? and concerns over logistics, will I get everything ready in time?  But the most profound feeling, the feeling that reaches me most deeply, is the warmth of the support I get from friends and family.  I mean this quite honestly.  Even a small show of faith and endorsement matters to me and is remembered.  So thank you everyone who has offered encouragement and help.  Thanks everyone who has written letters and sent messages.  Thanks companies who believe in what I am doing and have offered support, and thanks to everyone for keeping me in their prayers.  

I am standing on the edge, and deep down I contain a mad swirl of emotions.  But my mind and resolve are clear, and I can't wait to step off.