Tag Archives: sandstorm

Just Beyond the Barrier


“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”  ―Molière

The mouse maze would be a lot more manageable with a bird’s-eye view, and those towering peaks in the distance have done a nice job of blocking out the sun. Seeing the path unfold at my feet in inch increments, while tripwires and banana peels snicker at my cautious discretion, has made me wish more than once for the gift of flight.

If I could only elevate to see what’s waiting around that next bend, perhaps I could find comfort in the soft center of the present moment, even temporarily. Just a few precious minutes without the sense of an approaching sandstorm would feel like drops of water on the tongue of a desert wanderer.

But as I attempt to maneuver, jockeying for position among a throng of marathoners, my trusty compass abandons true north, testing my resilience and trying my patience. How many times must I substantiate my intent as the lake freezes, leaving me sliding around in socks instead of skates?

I am defined by my defiance, then and now, and no flash of light or fake whiff of cheese will divert me from finding that finish line.

This mouse is more method than instinct, and the only footsteps to follow are the ones I leave behind.

Adolescence Interrupted

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Grateful for the Example Set

Growing up with squinted eyes blinded by the light of a seemingly untouchable force of grounded pragmatism and consistency made for an interesting cocktail of security and rebellion. Organized order, punctuality, and checked boxes built a foundation of unwavering dependability. With only one captain on the ship, there were few available alternatives. But oats strain to be sewn, and rigid rules stand as giant impediments to any misguided notion of freedom.

While nonchalantly savoring the spoils born from a hard-working parent’s willingness to haul that load alone, I dismissed the concept of a career that fit snugly into a spreadsheet schedule and haphazardly charged into the sandstorm of artistic instability. Assuming that everything would simply “work out” has made for a marathon of quicksand sprinting and rugs that seem destined to be pulled just when I think my feet are stable.

My life was so regimented and routine, I couldn’t fathom my work following suit. I felt compelled to float on top of that salted sea of possibilities and available options, so a door could always remain open when the need to run or pivot presented itself. I made certain no relationship would sustain, no child would be born, and no personalized nameplate would ever adorn some mahogany office throne.

Well, I got exactly what I wanted. By eschewing balance and structure, I have floated inside an artistic bubble, arbitrarily drifting from one project to the next. Dreams imagined. Dreams crushed. Blueprints written. Blueprints erased. Never seeing past the three illuminated feet in front of you makes for a precarious stroll, and my walking stick is now saddled with an inconspicuous nub.

I cursorily studied a road map clearly created by the cartographer responsible, and I wish I had at least learned to split the difference between margins and maybes. I will never live up to that example set, but I am beyond grateful for the cataloged tray of nuts and bolts offered to build my engine.

Adolescence Interrupted

Do Not Pass Go

stop1“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”  —Pablo Picasso

Well, I have found a familiar friend in the rubble of my recent implosion. That sidekick is resilience.

I have been challenged, stomped on, and set off course more times in this life than I can begin to count. But there is one constant, and that is my bionic ability to rebound and strategize. With eyes wide, I find a way to see beyond the flames to find some piece of solace and security on the other side.

Being a hopeful thinker is certainly helpful, but something starts in the gut and propels me past the chaos of the sandstorm and into placid pastures. I am more than grateful for this gift, and I can thank the ruthless brain surgeries for building my armor. Drilling a sense of possibility and perspective into a head that would rather obey instincts by cowering in the corner, adversity has ultimately become an asset.

Now, I can’t for a second say that I relish the consistent destruction of my plans, but I can take pride in the way those broken pieces are observed, analyzed, gathered, and disposed of in an almost-mechanical manner. I waste no time on tears when the next chapter is waiting to be written.

Flexibility and perseverance have become fine bedfellows, and I eagerly anticipate the day those red lights finally flash green.

Adolescence Interrupted