Monday, March 11, 2013

Inspiration Monday: Intersection

When I meet a person, real or fictional, the first question I ask myself is what road brought him or her to stand in front of me. Then I wonder which road will call to them when they walk on by.

In some contexts I hope to nudge a person this way or that toward greater good in their lives: safety, support, comfort, compassion, empowerment.

Other times, I just hold my breath while they pass so I don't accidentally veer them off course.

Every person we meet and every choice we make is an intersection. Whether we like it or not, we make a choice to carry on or take a sharp turn to the left. Over, and over, and over again, we speed under the lights. Red, green, rarely enough yellow, we cruise right on through.

Think about what it means, all these crossroads--infinite possibilities, all painted shades of gray: What might have been? What should have been? Is there really such thing as should anyway? Am I lost? Where's the bathroom?

It isn't just the road we choose that changes our path. It is often the intersection itself which alters our course. How many times in your life have you thought, "If I had only known then what I know now, I would have done things differently." What you really mean is, "Why wasn't there a bridge-out sign way back there at the red-light when I had the chance to turn off?"

It's natural to wish that all the easy roads could touch, but unfortunately, that's rarely true. There are wolves waiting at the end of some of them, and hot meals with good company at the end of others. Sometimes we can't get to one without going down the other.

Today, write about an intersection, either literal or figurative. This intersection is a Big Deal. This intersection makes all the difference. Maybe it's a fugitive who hits a red light that never changes. Canada is just down the road and he has almost made it except for this stupid light. He'd run it, except sitting across the way is a cop--a very, very patient cop who revs his engine at the first sign of him running the light. No right on red.

Maybe it's more abstract: a painter who has to make a choice of blue or green for an element of his masterpiece. If he chooses blue, it will herald greatness and he will live in wealth and comfort for the rest of his life. If he chooses green, the piece will become a heartbreaking work of stark reality--and fade away into the obscurity of many heartbreaking works of stark reality. Throw in a blue-green colorblindness monkey wrench.

Toe the white lines in the crosswalks, count the cracks in the sidewalks. Listen in the distance to see what destiny sounds like from different directions. Take as long as you need to at that intersection, but in the end, you have to choose.

Otherwise, you'll never get where you're going. Wherever that may be.

No comments: