Monday, February 13, 2006

A page in the encyclopedia of experience: Maneuver
The concept of maneuvering had not occurred to me at the time, though when it hits, it’s always an old new lesson. That I was doing my own maneuvering to keep up had in fact been on my mind for a while. And I felt badly about it—about myself, for being myself was something that by nature caused me to have to maneuver; being my friendly self led to my long conversations which made me come up short with regards to my time; being my generous self led to spontaneous, and sometimes unwise, giving, which in turn caused a shortage in my pocket book. Being my artistic self caused my disregard for the boundaries of life, the “rules” we’re supposed to live by, which in turn led to disarray—a cluttered desk, for example, or an unbalanced check book.
As I sat at the wedding reception dinner, chewing steak as I listened to my neighbor tell a portion of his story, it struck me. Here was a guy who was working hard, trying to make something of himself, but meeting obstacles all along the way, obstacles I had imagined one would not encounter if they just…I don’t know, maybe had the right job, or right upbringing. Yet he had the “right job”, and though his upbringing was unknown to me, the guy next to him had the “right upbringing” and the right job, and was clearly facing hurdles and circus rings in his own life. I mulled this over, and today digested it after talking to a friend at church. He too was struggling to make something of himself, though he had fewer resources than the two at the wedding, and was struggling to create the right occupation because no one would give him a job. He is “different”, and I understand and abhor the way people treat those who are “different”.
But the point is this: we all have to maneuver. The concept of it is that life itself requires movement and constant toil. It’s how we change, grow, evolve, if you will, from the babies we enter as, into the free spirits we’re supposed to be when we leave. You will never in your time on earth find a place that does not require some sort of acrobatics in some aspect, a place where you are truly at the end of the movie; the cameras never pan out as you walk off set, your lover in your arms, a knowing smile on your face, the score reaching a heart squeezing crescendo, and cut to credits. There’s always more to be done.
As this thought hit me, I smiled to myself. I was alone in my car, so I could get away with having a moment in the midst of my epiphany. I turned up my radio, caressed my momentary joy, imagined the camera panning out as I drove off set into the distance…
And prepared myself for more maneuvering up ahead.