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Friday, July 24, 2009

A Change of Scenery and Mindset

What a fantastic week it's been. I feel as though I am a goldfish, swimming in the same murky goldfish bowl water that I've been swimming in for some time now. Picture, if you will, the scene from Finding Nemo after the fish sabotaged the filter. That is what my goldfish bowl looks like. I said murky right? I would also say disgusting, dirty, unattended. I think the lack of care would be my fault, but I can only blame myself so much. The other thing is: My bowl is just too small. I suppose that for another fish, a contented fish, it may be a nice, homy place to live. Not this fish.


I went to Lake Powell this week, and as I sat there, at the tip of the boat, I realized that wide open spaces is what frees a person from not only routine and mediocrity, but from their own restrictions as well. I felt as though the fog from my mind was lifted, a fog I didn't know existed until I saw those red canyon walls and felt the rush of hot wind on my face. Nature's wake up call is the most stirring, I think. If all the force of beauty and element Powell had to offer me didn't wake me up, the night sky did. I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night and gazing into the brilliant infinity of the universe. Forever is a scary thing to face when we ourselves are so temporary. But with something so breathtaking as the Milky Way, it's impossible not to look. More words: Awe, admiration, wonder.

I once asked a friend what his worst fear was, and he immediately replied, "To be satisfied with life." What a bold response. How easy is it for each of us to live contentedly in our confined lifestyle's? There's still a lot of work to routine, I can attest to that. I wonder if this individual knew the work cut out for him in his ambition. You know, they say a goldfish can only grow as large as its fish bowl allows. The smaller the fish bowl, the smaller the fish. Out there, on the lake, I could feel myself grow, feel my mind and my heart expand to something larger. The world seems so much bigger once you step into it after living in a confined space for a long period of time.

Billy Joel once said, "I found that just surviving was a noble fight." I think surviving, though noble, is just not good enough for me. I want to make this place I live better, with room for growth. From now on, I will try and make more leaps, be more honest, laugh a little more, be generous in my affection, work a little harder, judge a little less, and live fearlessly. Fear is only the absence of faith, after all.

Suggestion: Read Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger. I said that nature was a stirring force, but so is this book. It brings the spirit of testimony, and you'll find yourself stronger for reading it.

2 comments:

Andrew and Ariel said...

I loved that post, Scabs. And the one before it. Thanks for sharing. I've felt cooped up before too, and felt nature release me. Sometimes we go float out on the lake after I get home from work, and just being out there in the open space frees up my mind and my spirit and my body. It's a beautiful thing, something I hadn't clearly identified until you articulated it so well in this post. Love you, Abby. I can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks!
And don't worry, you've got many a grand and mysterious adventure before you. I'm excited to cheer you on through it all, whatever it is.

Keenanonie said...

I feel cooped up every day practically! So my challenge is to take my cooped-up-ed-ness and do something good where I am, in spite of it. Right? Thanks for writing this one.

I love Peace Like a River, too. I heard Enger came out with a new book...