Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Will to Powerlessness

If he didn't, Dante should have identified a ring for those with titanic ambition and a retiring will. Perhaps, if I could stop planning my next dozen or so enterprises for ten minutes or so, I could actually complete one before me.

But if it's the journey rather than the destination, then I may well be the only enlightened being you know. Or don't. Or not.

On the bike, there is the journey, and there is the destination, and I find a delightful balance between keeping the latter in mind while embracing the former, in all its gasping sweaty traffic menacing glory. On rock, there is the top and each move, in turn, between me and the end of the line. There is fear, and risk, and a bracing sense of singular focus. As on the bike.

But in virtually all other things -- often even sex, regrettably -- there is paralyzing possibility like the staccato glare of a thousand sudden photo flashes in a moonless midnight forest, paralysis, a warding off, and the synesthetic wounds in red and green blotting out the night's revelation.

I stand still. I count my fingers and toes, and again. I lower my arms and my sleeves whisper against the washboard of my ribcage, the sound diffusing to explore a limitless sensory vacuum. Sightless, I feel nothing, do nothing.


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