Questions litter the sandy ground like
fallen leaves curled and brown.
I walk around them, careful to not
step on unanswered questions.
For now I am the winter solstice
plunged into the dark, avoiding light
until the next transition arrives.
That path I place both feet upon
now crumbles with each step.
What do we do when the confidence we built
after years of self doubt, setbacks, pain, loss,
and anger turns out to be more false promises?
How do we believe this is our choice when we
control our fate, or are other powers at play?
As one door closes, another opens. An old saying, yes, and for the most part makes sense. However, I like the idea that, when one door closes, there was already five open.
In the midst of a transition as I take stock of life, I am opening many doors, and with a child-like curiosity, peeking into each, and deciding which path I will take next. Do I keep within the same career, or leap into something different, something more in line with the passions buried deep within, that I have given up trying to fight? Do we stay here or make the move to Alaska, where a good chunk of my being and heart lies upon the shore of Prince William Sound?
The one door I have been peering into the longest, sometimes with disdain, sometimes with the emotion of seeing a long-lost friend, is the one where I am a writer. Seeing myself from a distant, detached, 3rd-person, is both frightening and exhilarating. Is that something I can truly do if I let go of fear and the nagging feelings that there is no audience for me, that these words I write are just words, with no substance, no context, and no meaning?
Through all of the angst and defeat, I never fully closed this door. It was always left with a sliver of light coming out, as a reminder so I would not forget part of myself.
I recently watched The Adjustment Bureau for the 3rd time. This film stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as two people mired in the struggle to define themselves and their purpose while other hands play with their path, and fate.
The basic premise of the movie is this: a higher power writes and re-writes the path we are on. When we veer from that pre-defined path, events take place that attempt to put us back on that path. These actions can manifest themselves as spilling coffee, making the wrong turn, missing the bus, losing your keys, etc. It can be any small detail that changes an immediate moment, but has ripples across time, and the rest of your life. The idea of free-thinking or free-will is presented as an illusion, that the higher power teases us with as a cover for what is really going.
I love the acting, the script, and the chemistry between the two leads. They present a wonderful topic in a down to earth way, using love (two people who are “meant” to be together) to discuss the idea of following a pre-determined path, or the ability of humans to create their own. Where is the line between our actions and a higher power’s actions?
I would like to open this topic up for discussion with 8 questions to get things going. I would love for people to chime in with responses, a personal story, anything that engages the readers here on this topic.
- Do you believe in a pre-defined path or destiny?
- How does this make you feel?
- Do you believe we make our own path, with no plan from a higher power?
- How did you come to this belief?
- Were there any events that provided a life changing moment, perhaps completely changing your opinion and belief?
- Is it ok to have a hybrid belief system?
- What is belief?
- What is fate?
Today is my girlfriends (have everything but the ring) son’s birthday. He is 25 and in the military, dedicated to this great country.
I made the decision many years ago to not have children of my own, and was fine being with someone who already did. When I met Patricia, and over the ensuing years, I never thought of myself as a father to him, and never forced or tried to be that way. I wanted to be a friend and have a respectful, mutual relationship. Over time, this has grown into much more than that, and has a foundation of trust. We trust each other.
Even while writing this, while written on a whim, the idea has been around for awhile, the emotions well up inside. I worry about him, and see Patricia worry about him. What started as a friendship, has become more, and I now see this relationship as a gift from the universe, in spite of my earlier intentions.