Sunday, May 06, 2007

Shifting gears

Somtimes I am overwhelmed with the anti-uncertainty movement, everybody so certain that "good" can only be defined as "certain" or "reliable" or "dependable," known versus unknown, expected and even required versus unexpected and completely voluntary or even unnecessary or even arbitrary. I feel like the surprising, the frightening happenstance that is the real world has already slipped away, now out of reach, and if I don't concentrate very hard, I'll lose even the memory of truth.

But the truth is this: Sometimes, when you're driving to work at 7:30 in the morning, the clutch in your little Honda del Sol decides to self-destruct. And it's scary because you're in traffic and your car doesn't exactly not-go, instead making rude noises and behaving quite erratically, if that's even a word. Later, after several nice socket wrenches have bit the dust, and your boyfriend has a bruised rib from where the transmission fell on him, you'll get back into your car to drive to work once again, and you won't feel certain about the clutch.

You'll wonder if it could happen again.

And the movement of your car at 75 mph doesn't seem like quite as good an idea as it had previously.

But you keep driving. And when your brakes fail on the way home from work, you still don't actually crash into anything, but you consider the possibility on several occasions. And the next time you get to drive the car, you put your foot on that brake pedal and cringe inwardly, almost certain that it won't work, and the car will not stop after all, even though it has a brand new (actually, refurbished) brake master cylindar. You're almost certain that there is never a way to stop, ever again.

The truth is this: There is no certainty at all, even about the bad and scary things. The brakes will work most of the time, and sometimes they won't work, and you'll drive to work at 75 mph knowing this. And really, isn't that pretty marvelous? What an adventure!

But I'm surrounded by people who don't want to be on an adventure, you see. And they'll insist, every time something scares them, that the world must be changed to ensure that this something can never, ever happen again. So they close their emotional fists around all the somethings, and they shut out possibility altogether, leaving only a sweaty palm and darkness.

I'm going to put this blog to rest soon. I might start another. Or I might not. I really don't know what will happen.

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