You know how, sometimes, the universe gets your attention with the same message over and over? I mean over and over and over, well beyond the point of calling it a coincidence. Let me explain.
Not once, not twice. Not every so often, not on this day but not the next; every single day for the past several weeks. Any time of day, any direction, every single time I run an errand between Jeffersonville and Cambridge, just minutes away. Whatever vehicle happens to be ahead of me slows to somewhere between 20 and 40 miles an hour. The speed limit is 50. This does not happen on any other stretch of road. What are the odds?
And even if the odds were low, I cannot help but contemplate a possible metaphor about my current path. It is not about slowing down so much as it is about accepting that I am. The main reason for this, and I am clear about this, is that I no longer feel the competitive urges of earlier years. Incidentally, I think we often compete more with ourselves that with others.
The only sane thing to do behind a slow car, when the road meanders and there is no safe spot to pass, is to accept the current pace and not suspend enjoyment of the moment because of it. When you think about it, withholding joy in the moment, because the driver ahead is slow, makes no sense at all.
The creative mind is that meandering road with no safe spot to pass. It is not safe to pass because ideas come out of nowhere and a head-on collision with an idea can make you miss the point. Creativity demands distance, so we can see the landscape of the mind. If we rush into it, we miss the whole picture. All of life is an act of creation, and I have a hunch we all come to this conclusion at one point or another. It is not that we give up; rather, we give in.
Where am I going with this?
Precisely. Quite often, or perhaps inevitably, circumstances shape the path. I can trace everything I do today, my writing and my artwork, through one circumstance after another. In fact, I can trace all of it to a long string of closing doors and opening doors. We are designed for reacting and adapting, after all. This may be more fortunate than we realize. This circumstance hopping game shapes everything.
We mistakenly believe that we should be ahead of the game, ahead on the road, behind the car that’s speeding toward its destiny, instead of being “slowed down” by our own individual pace. A spot to pass and resume high speed is not the solution. Acceptance is the only solution.
And then there is silence… a topic for another time.