Sam Gimbel

Tech, Beer, and Strange Thoughts.

Make the best of it

Some situations force you to grow up. Not that everyone responds in kind when presented with such an opportunity, but in the moments I'm considering, the path ahead is clear for any who care to embark upon it.

I wonder what the spark is for those of us just discovering the power of forced living? Is it a change in disposition, a shock to the system, a slow and steady shift, tectonic in nature and inevitable from the start? In any case, once aroused, the need to grow never dissipates. Discovery becomes a fixture in the ideal state of a day well-lived. Pain becomes a gateway to foundational knowledge accessed by the physical and emotional breakages only humans are capable of leveraging with such impersonal, cold elegance.

So we sit, a lightning rod for flux and inspiration–strike that–lightning rods are passive, blasé, safe. No. We sit in constant danger of losing our balance atop a circus elephant's ball, bobbing merrily in the throes of a summer storm, no land in sight. It takes years to learn the dance, the motion necessary to stay above the waves as they regenerate from nowhere at the persuasion of the wind. Once learned, the ball becomes a proper vehicle on which to navigate, always in danger of going under, always requiring the full scope of attention available to the traveler.

So we sat. We sat and half of us were consumed by the temptation to give up and so they drowned, clawing at our vessel, unwilling to accept their chosen fate in the face of our struggle. Drown, dammit, and let us ride out this storm, I call, fury shrouding judgement and taking my fellow travelers by surprise.

If you give up, do not expect to be saved. Caught between the constant flexing of crowded strange emotions and your plea for respite, i will always choose the former. Not because I am better, more deserving, or arrogant in my journey, but because I fear the pain of drowning.

So we sat, diminished by half, exploring forcibly the facts and intrigues placed before us. We ruminate and pick apart the requests and hubris of a community of blind drivers tasked with our safe arrival at justice. The journey is bounded strongly by the necessary physical limitations of this hopeless room, devoid of spirit and in which the sun has never shined.

So we sat, burdened, the air from our circus ball growing denser in contact with the sharp cold water of the sea.

"No more," we cry out, and for that we are punished. Several more of us are lost, but we do not have time to mourn. The rivulets of thought erode, combining and separating, tracing webs of meaning and context on the surface of our brains. Like the deer in the rainy season, flooded from afar, the trickle becomes a rush becomes a puddle miles wide, and our understanding deepens.

So we ride the circus ball, neither amused nor taken in by the antics of those we've lost. Learn the dance or drown. Lose your footing and the opportunity is lost.