No matter how careful we might be to step on solid ground, gauging each step to be sure it's not too heavy to crack the path, nor too light that we trip over our own feet, there is no guarantee that the ground will remain solid. There we go, one foot in front of the other, navigating our path, never knowing when, for certain, some unexpected game changer will weaken the ground or obliterate it entirely. It is then that we need to scramble for a safety net. If we are lucky enough to find one, gratitude is our next course of action. However, for those times when we know the net is far off or just not coming, the only way to survive is to embrace the chaos. One of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver has a passage in one of her short story collections that applies to such times:
"Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job.... And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another--that is surely the basic instinct.... Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is."
--Barbara Kingsolver, from High Tide in Tucson
After reading that, I start to think, "So if there is no safety net, I guess we're stuck weaving our own." I guess we weave it out of hope, resolution, and instinct. Time to surround oneself in "the glorious debris." Time to create that safety net and use it as the framework for a new path.
It's been a great weekend and a rough one all wrapped up into one. Tomorrow, I'm stepping off the path I've been trying to keep together via glue, tape and spit...abandoning it to step out into the chaos I've shied away from. Delicate steps have not kept me safe, only postponed the inevitable. Starting tomorrow, I will allow chaos and debris to help me build a new path--mistakes, missteps, and ticked-off people be damned.