Saturday, August 20, 2011

Climbing Out of Bed Is As Dangerous As Staying In It

She climbs into the window
Through shapes and shadows...
And though she's dreaming she knows
Sometimes the curiosity can kill the soul but leave the pain
And every ounce of innocence is left inside her brain.
-"Her Name Is Alice" by Shinedown

You could run out of food and die.
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could be attacked by a bear and die.
Or, you could stay at home and fall off the couch and die.
-"Get Off The Couch" t-shirt

Living is dangerous. Dying isn't what kills you, but what happens when you run out of life. Life runs through our bodies as blood, but there is more to it than just blood. However, this isn't meant to be what life is, but how the time should be treated.

Everything we do is dangerous in some way. Dangerous in the sense that it could cause a change. The transition from life to death is a change, but so is the transition from one belief to another. Changing from living a religous life to a spiritual one may be subtle to observers, but inside, it is enormous.

I have been aware of my mortality for several years now. Most folks my age still have the remenants of the feeling of youthful immortality, but I am not among them. Since the moment when I lost that, I gained something that swelled within me: the hunger to live.

When we feel immortal, we are in no rush to do things in our lives, believing that there will be plenty of time. In truth, there is never enough time. We must take advantage of the opportunites that are presented to us, but it is not enough to stop there. No: we must go on to make and take our own opportunities.

Staying in bed or "on the couch" is just as dangerous. The spent while the body is idle gives the mind a chance to do its own work, to explore, imagine, and wonder. Those musings are most dangerous when we sleep and dream, for in our dreams we are once again immortal, and also freed of our humanity and human inhibitions. When we are apart from humanity, we can more objectively examine the human condition, its perfections, its flaws.

All these things can bring about change, and change is the most dangerous thing there is shy of staying the same. Staying the same will kill you. Change only might.