Skip to main content

Getting direction

“Head down this road until you come to street with a large metal sculpture on the corner,” she said with a comforting sense of certainty in her voice. “Don’t turn there but keep going about two more blocks and you’ll see it on the right,” she finished with a smile. I repeated the directions to her and began driving down the road looking for what turned out to be a three-foot bronze piece obscured by a newspaper box—truly a marker for where not to turn. We’ve all received or even given directions like this at one point or another: clear and simple directions based on what not to do. It got me wondering about all the other types of journeys we convolute in a similar fashion. How does one find their way physically, emotionally and even spiritually in a world where tangents are easier to follow than the road itself?

I was headed home from the printer (Colorstep) after approving poster designs for Madcap Theater. The air was crisp with Fall and the sun was beginning another glorious dance across the late afternoon sky. I had the windows down just soaking up the last moments of the sunset with Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” playing in the background. Everything was perfect the day I banged up my car.

To this day, I’m not sure what I hit but I will never forget my ability to slow time in order to memorize everything at the moment of impact: posters suspended above the passenger seat, the view out my windshield being nothing but sky and the look of fascination from the driver next to me at my car’s newfound ability to hover in mid-air. It was in this bubble of suspended time that I reviewed all of the alternate paths I could have taken to avoid the current situation. The moment ended when my car slammed back down to earth and dared me to wrestle control back from gravity’s whim.

Much later, with my car repaired and my adrenaline normalized, I revisited events in the “time bubble” to further explore this introspective flash. The posters were still floating above the passenger seat as the sounds of bending metal played out in slow motion. Staring at myself in that moment, I saw more time spent worrying about the choices not made instead of focusing on the situation at hand. I began to wonder how often I’ve wasted valuable time and effort preparing for the unseen or focusing on things only tangentially related to the task at hand.

Perhaps I’ve asked the wrong people for directions or advice. Maybe I ask the right sources for guidance and only pay casual attention to the important details. Either way, I’ve often found myself so caught up in tracking a landmark that I fail to look ahead far enough to see where I’m actually trying to go.

As I write this, my life is once again at a crossroads. Before me are several creative and career directions to choose from. My social life is healthy, my family life keeps me happily coming back for more and I want for nothing when it comes to entertaining diversions—perfect conditions for banging up the status quo. I’m ready to head down a different road but the directions I’ve written myself are becoming distracting. I’ve told myself to watch out for so many different things that my end goal is getting harder to see.  I’m now running the risk of mistaking an intermediate ‘landmark’ for my final destination.

Perhaps I need to spend less time looking for indications that I’m headed the right way and simply keep my eyes on the road.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An affair of convenience

I have a confession to make. I’ve been having an affair now for the past several years. I've known her since we were kids but grew distant in high school. It wasn't until many years later when standing in line at the DMV that I bumped into her again. Having her with me in that line reminded me how much I enjoyed her company. We saw each other quite regularly after that until I met my wife a few years later. During the first year of my marriage, I couldn't maintain the affair but would often wonder if I'd ever see her again. It wasn’t until the second year with my wife that I started to rekindle the affair and found that things would go better at home after each encounter. When my son was born, of course, there were a few months when I didn’t make the effort to keep up the affair and lost touch with her entirely. These were dark days of stress and unhappiness. Eventually, I started sneaking her into the house and became less frantic. Looking back, it's a wonder I

A Little About A Lot

A Little About A Lot by Nabih Saliba To know a lot about a little Or a little about a lot Is a thing we should consider But in practice often not Know a lot about a little And it’s one thing that you’ve got But your view might be quite narrow Like a cage for every thought Fill your head with many subjects Then an expert you are not As your knowledge can be shallow When a little about a lot Should you aim to be an expert? Try to master just one thing? Then you’d have yourself a focused Special kind of offering. Do you wish to only sample? Try to gather wide but thin? Then when details are required You’ll just offer up a grin. Maybe what one should consider Isn’t what they know or not But what they know together With the friends that they have got For together we are smarter Sharing fact and view and thought On a lot about a little Or a little about a lot

The Easiest Thing of All

The Easiest Thing of All By Nabih Saliba It’s easy to remember the first time I laid eyes on you Every day, your beauty still takes my breath away It’s easy to admire what you’re capable of Every day, you demonstrate your capacity for greatness It’s easy to be jealous of the time that isn’t mine Every day, I see the care you invest in others It’s easy to be proud of you Every day, you push a little further into the unknown It’s easy to think of you Every day, you occupy my thoughts, dreams and desires It’s easy to wait for you Every day, I look forward to discovering new things with you It’s easy to imagine the rest of my life with you Every day, you remind me of what a joy living can be It’s easy for me to thank you Every day, you brighten my life In every moment I remember you In every moment I admire you In every moment I feel jealous In every moment I think of you In every moment I wait for you In every moment I i