the dilemma


Amidst the wide expanse, she tosses and turns in her mind, drums her manicured fingers on her thigh. Boundless skies, open fields that stretch beyond what the human eye can see… any normal being would run freely a muck, or stand in quiet awe. Yet instead, she chooses to turn her eyes inward to unyielding boxes and humid caves.

It is too much. Where do I start?

There is a certain comfort in limits, in the knowing, even if it embodies so much lack. You can calculate, you can expect, you can pass your days with a general prediction of daily events, even if it leaves you with a nagging, empty, hollow feeling inside. It is why so often people avoid risk and the unknown. Many may have the thirst for adventure, but lack the courage needed to engage their whims. There is something to be said to take the well-known path.

I suffer a lack of imagination.

And the suffering is all your doing, your responsibility. I suppose there is comfort in that too. You are in control when you are within your four walls, even if you are beating yourself bloody with a sack of quarters. Even if you are starving yourself dead. Yet the wounds, injuries, are all mine. I do not have to live with doubt. I am the one with the red hand. You never have to live with suspense.

Is it easier to embrace the world and its risky possibilities, or to shun it for bleak assurance?

Jumping off the ledge into unknown territory opens our lives to possibilities that our minds cannot at present fathom. But there is probability for failure and experiencing a new kind of pain. If we hold a voracious spirit, perhaps we yearn to eat up and live up to all potential. In the same hand, uncertainty can be quite a ferocious beast.

And so here we stand, contemplating.

As I ponder this, I am struck with the realization that whichever vial we take, there is some measure of poison. In the first, fear, doubt, uncertainty. In the second, emptiness, restriction, inner death. In either vial, there is always pain. From what I’ve seen, people can and have made arguments for taking one or the other.

So, dear Reader, what is your poison?

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