Friday, September 11, 2009

Life

Sometimes life is like a carousel. You hang on to your seat and get pulled round and round: a never ending cycle with the same scenes, the same faces flashing by. You become sick and dizzy of going round in so many circles, but you can't seem to let go of your seat. Your seat is what grounds you, what lets you know where you are. But it, too, is dragged in the cycle. Yet because it grounds you, you won't let it go.

Sometimes life is like a lazy river. You lie in your inflated tube and let the current carry you whichever way it goes. You drift without really getting anywhere. Occasionally, the river carries you under a waterfall and you get wet. Sometimes you like this, sometimes you don't, but you don't bother trying to steer your inflated tube. The waterfalls don't last too long anyway.

Sometimes life is like a roller coaster. You make a choice and throw yourself into something - a powerful thing which vehicles you upward. You're excited, filled with bubbling anticipation, like a pot just beginning to boil as you slowly climb upwards, away from the familiar scenes below. The higher you climb, the more silent the world becomes. You leave behind the regular buzz of the park and enter into your own universe where you're aware only of the wind, the approaching sky, the rumbling of the wheels on the track, and your own chugging thoughts. Everything else in your life up until now seems to have fallen away, behind, and you surge upwards.

Then, just as you're thinking about how you have to tell your husband, wife, friend, sibling, kid, parent about this wonderful, free, powerful yet frightening feeling you're experiencing, you reach the top of the climb - and then you go. With a giant whoosh! you're thrown into the ride, and you're moving so fast you can't even think about anything other than the wind in your face that makes it hard to see, and you try not to open your mouth so you don't choke on that wind, and everything flashes by so quickly that you hardly register you saw anything before you've missed fifteen other things that came after it, and you don't know how to make anything stop, but it's such an exhilarating feeling that you almost don't want it to stop, and yet somehow you desperately do, and you know that you're overcoming certain weaknesses (yet gaining others), you know you're growing strong (yet becoming increasingly tired out), you know you're getting ahead by light-years, and you know you're living in this moment, and no other moment, not in the past, nor in the future, because there's no time or energy to live anywhere else.

Sometimes you feel like you can't get ahead, and sometimes you feel like you're moving too fast. Sometimes you can't catch up, sometimes you can't fall back into step with everyone else.

Sometimes you don't know where you are - you're both too far ahead and too far behind, and you're amazed that such a thing is possible.

In all rides of life, what I find most comforting is that no matter how quickly or slowly I go, no matter if I'm ahead or behind, no matter where I am, when I get off the ride, I have family and friends who love me, and who loved me even while I was too busy in a different pace of living to keep up, or stay back, with them.

I find, so far in my life, and I think this applies to life in general, that the ones who are still there at the end of the ride - they're the ones who will stay with you during your whole adventure at the park (or, if you'd rather not think metaphorically, your whole life's adventure). They're there to go on other rides, both together with you and separately, and to always be there when the rides are done. They're the people really in your life.

So I suppose that at different moments in our lives, we feel we might be moving at different paces. This can be scary, or wonderful, or overwhelming, or exciting, or a mix of all different emotions. But no matter what, we should always recognize that we still have beside us the people and the things that matter, and we should make sure never to lose them. We should make sure they know that we are also there for them (to the best of our ability) - no matter how slowly or how quickly we are going.

It's good to have people we can trust. It's good to know there are people who, no matter how far or close, how quick or slow they are or we are, will always have that connection to us, so that at the end of it all, you can always pick up the phone or send an email or pay a visit, and it will be like you were never out of sync. Because you never were, really.

And it's good to remember that if we are making good use of our time, if we are making good choices, and if we are around good people - life is good. But sometimes it can be a wild ride (or a not so wild one). :)

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