I remember the snow piles on the side of my street being so huge. Snow ploughs were a dread to many, but as kids, despite that our parents would have us shovel the heavy road snow from our driveways, it meant we had some control over which piles we would make the biggest. This was critical for snow-fort building, slides and other games. One of the roughest games we would play was king on the castle. On my street it meant standing atop the biggest snowbank and trying to withstand all your friends whose only desire was to knock you down so they could claim the highest peak. Sometimes it would get violent, and it was always unfair. Claiming the thrown meant you knew how to use your strength, your ingenuity, your ability to sneak attack and the art of distraction to your advantage. It also often meant you used a friend’s demise for your own success. But occasionally there’d be that one friend that would hoist another up to their lofty peak and together, as a team, they would rule that snow bank – at least until everyone got bored and wanted to play some other game. Or our parents called us in. But that’s something we were all able to do as kids – let go and move on.
It seems I am always trying to get to the top of that snow bank. And I get there often. But each time I get to the top I forget how hard it was to get up there and I get comfortable with my grand vantage point. I forget that at any second someone could come and drag me down. Some event could occur and the game would just be over. But it’s more difficult these days to move on and let go. It seems when I fall as an adult, there are more consequences than just losing my place on a snowbank. My whole life is interconnected with every game I play, every puzzle I work on, every adventure I undertake. However you want to describe the journey of life – when I fall as an adult every part of me and my existence feels it – even if only a little.
I haven’t always been serious. I’ve gone through phases in which I have been carefree and lived by a series of anecdotes that made life light and easy. Seriousness didn’t exist and there was an answer for everything. You know, like a hippie or a Buddhist. But life isn’t so simple when you’re invested in it. When your feelings are rooted in what you believe to be true and your existence is rooted in your feelings, a time will come when the anecdotes don’t matter and all your light-hearted playfulness will be challenged with real truths long forgotten and hidden deep within the wonders of life. Call it a test, if you’re into anecdotes. Or just call it bad luck.
I’ve met so many people in life who wish for enlightenment. They try to live so carefree and thoughtfully, easily and with love. They pause and think before they speak and act. They look for the good in everyone and look for the best answers so everyone benefits. They put everyone else ahead of their own needs and while they make it look easy and make me feel like they’re living this thing right, (and I’m not,) I don’t always believe their motives or intentions. When the shit hits the fan, I’ve seen some of these people lose the plot, rant and rage, and even become masochistic or outwardly destructive to others. They have them selves fooled into believing they are at peace with the ways of the world and other people, but they do not have me fooled. I’ve found that the quest for enlightenment is not something a person can do half-way – it’ll swing back full-speed and knock you off your ass if you don’t fully commit. So when the shit hit the fan in my life, when I tumbled off the hill and found most of what I accomplished pulled away, I hoped that at some point I would get fed up and look for something else to do. It’s not a rational thing to hope for. But these days I am distracted. I’m not focusing so much on the hill, even though it wan’t just some mere hill. And I’m not focusing so much on the loss, even though it wasn’t just some mere game. But it’s over. Games end, that’s not an anecdote, that’s a fact. So all I can do is get out my shovel and start moving the heavy shit that’s been put in front of my life to the side and maybe when the way is clear I will find that the shit I put aside can actually be the funnest part of having a clear path ahead of me.