Standing at the crossroads I ponder my choices with heavy consideration knowing that whichever I choose will not be my own choice. Every notion, someones opinion. Do I take the first path that leads me through years of education to obtain a piece of paper and a unsatisfactory handshake, just to please my parents, so that they can hang a picture proudly of their son in a gown. Do I take the second path where I become gluttonous and party my life away with no direction. Always jumping from one bed to the next seeking the next thrill of my life, which does nothing more but serve to feed the loneliness that swarms around me, ultimately leading me to overdosing on some whacked out drugs everyone is taking. Forced and pressured by my peers to be one of them, raving the nights away with utmost displeasure. What about the third road that is uncertainty. We follow what is laid out for us, never knowing what is around the corner, what destiny has set upon the proverbial table. Each road has its own misgivings, but here I stand at the crossroads. I look upon my choices feeling utterly lost and overwhelmed by despair. As I glance at each paths I could walk, dread and fear seeps inside. I whirl around and run in the opposite direction. Too scared to decide, too uncertain to be informed, fearful for will I ever know which to follow. What will be my future? I pray thee, do tell.
The problem is when we turn our periscope inwards. When the slide under our microscope is a mirror into our own minds. Our own self. When WE become the noun-like object upon which pronounce ultimate judgment. But not just our self. Of course, we must judge our self. That is how we grow and change and learn. We judge how we are doing. We celebrate what we do right. We wrestle and strategize where we do wrong. But there is a deeper sense in which the judgment becomes problematic. There is a depth of assessment that fails us. Jesus tells us to keep our microscopes away from it. He wants to be "all," but not in that way...
We are all one melody away from an epiphany. We are all one question away from a breakthrough. When I was a child, my grandfather let me steer the tractor (he held his hands over my hands, but I was convinced I was the one steering). When I was an adolescent, my teachers let me turn in my homework late. I guess there are many mercies and graces overflowing from the seems – seeping into the streams. And even now, when I look back on it all (with Chopin playing softly in my earphones), I see that I am lucky. I am lucky not to be an orphan. I am lucky not to be deformed. I am lucky not to be a lost alien on some doomed exploratory mission. When I look back on it all now, I regret my character flaws and the sins they inspired. But there is mercy and grace from the tip of our tongues down to the inner workings of our molecular systems. And I am steering the melody tractor and I am breaking through.
The closer you are to freedom the more tentacles encroach into your scenes. The closer you are to touching that tit of mercy the more angst-cream seeps into your machine. I was born of a naive woman and a small-minded man, in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a bitter winter. I was the bringer of fear, a stumbling block with blonde hair. When I fell over I would laugh. When I was left alone I would draw. I was the introspective one. The task-finder. I run my fingers against the paper. Smudge the lead to buff the pencil marks and mold the gray into shade. The closer you are to escaping your origin the dizzier you become. You walk into walls and lean against the sinks. The tables and ottomans seem to swing around you and you try, in vain, to keep them in place. You try to smudge the gray into shade.
He was holding his breath for as long as he could, just to impress his peers at the cocktail bar. He was red in the face. He was damaging his brain. He was acting like he was having more fun than he really was. Then she walked in. She was the prophetic painter. She splashed some paint on a canvas and moved it around and said, “This speaks to someone, I don’t know who.” She threw salt on the outskirts of her creation to create a texture. “This is striking someone. I don’t know who. It is striking someone and they don’t know why.” She turned the canvas to the side, painted something that looked like a rotating eye. She said, “I don’t know who, but someone here wants to confess how they are really feeling. Someone here wants to share, but they can’t find the words.” She took her fist and strategically smudged the paint in certain places. “This speaks to someone,” she said.