Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Joy of Uncertainty

Only the madman is absolutely sure. -Robert Anton Wilson, novelist (1932-2007)

I had a flash-back the other day. I was listening to students in a classroom, and I became aware of their absolute certainty about their futures. They talked as if they had a road map to success and were preparing to take the expressway toward a city with golden streets. As I listened, I was distracted by echoes from my past -- resonance of hopes, dreams, and certainties in what seemed another life, another time and place far removed -- a time when I saw a wide sweep of pavement, a broad and welcoming path leading toward the expected blessings of an assured future. Nothing would be there to stop me and nothing would deflect me from my path or cause me to stumble in my journey.

Reality, of course, told (and tells) a different tale -- a tale of roadblocks, dams, rocks and rubble, oceans of uncertainty and trouble -- what counselors euphemistically call challenges. Life is uncertain. Often, it is the unwanted journey of the unwilling toward the unknown, and it is not for the faint of heart or those who simply do not wish to pay attention. For me, the solution to thriving and surviving was finding out and accepting the truth about who and what I am, and becoming hungry to find out what I will be. Once I know me, it matters not what the challenges be, for I revel in the challenges that come to me, and I can find joy in uncertainty.


The Joy of Uncertainty

I am naught but the stream seeking the sea -
There's nothing remarkable about me.
Though obstacles mount to restrict and dam,
I can be nothing more than what I am,
And I rush down the winding cataract.
I then become light that none can refract;
A captive reflection, now on the lamb,
And I'm still nothing more than what I am.
The sun warms my face as I walk the road;
The rain cools my brow as I bear my load;
The wind at my back drives me, as a cam
That steers me toward nothing more than I am.
My life is path of uncertainty,
Leading what I am to what I will be.

Mick McKellar
March 2009

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