Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh, pioneers

“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be...
  This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.”
Isaac Asimov, Asimov on Science Fiction 

Yes, I AM currently reading Isaac Asimov.
An astrolabe.
Each morning I, and I suspect most of us, awake to a new planet, as though we've traveled through a night made of years, suspended.  In so many ways the world begins afresh every day.

What was true yesterday may no longer be so.  How I felt yesterday may have pivoted, spun like the arrow on a wheel of fortune, aiming now at peace and optimism when yesterday's forecast spoke of overwhelming dither, borderline hysteria based on nothing other than my thoughts.  The mercurial qualities of human emotions, beliefs and apprehensions keep me off balance more often than is comfortable.  Stability is gained through plain hard work

Gravity shifts, don't let them tell you it doesn't.  What was solid beneath my feet 30 seconds ago could become quicksand due to some slight adjustment of the earth's plates or a reversal of circumstance.  What we have is this moment and, if we are very lucky, the next and the next without expectation but also without fear.  Try and make those pieces fit together.

I become disappointed in myself when I find I am being too critical, too judgmental of actions chosen by others.  I forget what they do is mostly not my business.  Any time I spend looking too hard at their questionable, often troubling antics is time I no longer have for cleaning out my own disturbingly over-filled closets.

Consistency doesn't just elude me, it avoids me, dodging behind the hibiscus when it sees me on the sidewalk.  That hasn't yet stopped me from trying to find it, somehow enticing it to my uncertain embrace.   It may be that not all of us are intended to be steadfast, though I can't imagine why.  Reliability is such a virtue.  But then, is any of us intended to be anything other than human.  Some of the variables are far beyond our control.

That each day is its own separate entity demands flexibility, improvisation.  What worked on the planet we left as we fell asleep may have no value or possibility in this new location.  What adjustments we make to glide or lurch through today with as little damage as possible may serve no purpose tomorrow.

It is change that is our constant, not only as a society but in our small, day-to-day lives.  I envision a well-trained boxer, light of foot, quick to dodge surprising blows, ready for anything.  I think, too, of ships setting forth with hope but not absolute certainty of a round planet, oceans which would eventually lead them home.  We forget that we are still conquistadors, Vikings, pioneers, Lewis and Clark.  We forget that, each day, we find a new path through uncharted lands, somehow traverse uncrossable waters.  If we are occasionally weary of such adventure, it is fitting.  We have never been here, right here, before.


Anonymous said...

your post states what is and has been in my head and my heart. of course you heard, being the finely-tuned human being you are. but no, this is not about me. it is about you. as you share what is inside you, what needs to settle inside me calms down. thank you. xo-s

Anonymous said...

That is exactly what I needed to read this morning.
Thank you.

Today is unique.


Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - Thank you. Such a confluence of events in the day or days before the thought of this came to me about 4:30 a.m. How unlikely it is that "nothing is certain" can be almost reassuring. Yes, I am always a stranger here. Wishing you a head and heart of greater peace. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - Today IS unique. I have been wandering around thinking even further about this. It explains - to me - so much. And timing is a wondrous thing, phew. xo