Friday, December 12, 2008

Choices Again

It’s a gray, gloomy and misty morning. I’m feeling tired but pasted on a smile as I drove my girls to school. As I turned the last corner, I spied a man on a bus stop bench, sitting in the rain, tipping back a bottle of beer partially wrapped in a paper bag at 8:00 a.m. on a Friday morning. I can’t be certain if it was a “the hair of the dog” thing or a “breakfast of champions” thing and I’m not sure why I wondered at all at first but it caused a twinge of pain for me to see. Almost immediately I knew why. It reminded me of my mom who is likely sipping vodka in her go mug sitting in her car somewhere in Salt Lake City…cold comfort to numb the pain of vengeance ill-gotten in her mind. It’s hard to think about as I sit in my nice warm truck, sipping a Starbuck’s mocha responding to email messages on my pretty red blackberry. The guilty feelings drift away with the ocean breeze as I logically conclude our lot in life is a culmination of the choices that we make.

My attention drifts to the water, strangely calm on a stormy morning. I’m playing witness to a whole host of other people from all walks of life who clearly have made other choices. Not unlike me. I wonder about the traps people lay for themselves engaging in a victim mentality and seeking sympathy to manipulate others for the love that would otherwise be so willingly given. I can understand it for only about 5 seconds and then come right straight back to choices. We chose to be who we are and how we let the world and its events shape us. I think about some of my choices over the past 18 months. I don’t choose sadness anymore. It’s a draining emotion. I choose peace and serenity. When the world as I know it becomes like a torrential rain storm, I seek the eye of it. I let the world just swirl on the periphery and keep my peace in the calm and serenity of refusing to fight nature and circumstance. My eyes have seen too much pain for too long and honestly, there’s not a tear left in me so I smile because I’m alive…because I know what love is…because I know balance and that as sure as the tides push in high they also push back low. It’s a never-ending cycle…life is an infinite circle of meaning and drama…an interesting dance of smiles and tears juxtaposed on an illusion of a real reality.

I come back out of my proliferation of seemingly meaningful thoughts and take in the beautiful view of the Pacific from my favorite place on Earth. I think of a new friend I have made and realize he’s the reason for my smile this morning. I realize too that for the first time in a very long time I’m quite content in my own skin at the moment. The sun is suddenly out and the diamonds are once again dancing on the surface of the water. It’s so very beautiful to behold but I’m tired and will need to make the short trip home in a few moments. I need some rest, more coffee, some vitamins and food…fun right?

I guess my main thought for the day is that sometimes it’s hard if not seemingly impossible to see the beauty and magic of life. But, when that becomes your reality with too much conviction, it’s truly time to shift your perspective. It’s time to find the beauty you’ve been missing in obscure places. Go back, retrace your steps and look for the things you walked by previously oblivious. There you will find a new perspective, maybe something interesting and maybe something important. Peace!

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