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Location: Kentucky, United States

Monday, June 16, 2003

That Butterfly Moment

The house I was raised in had a detached two-door garage. Beside it was a swing-set that, when my parents would go grocery shopping and leave me home alone, I used as a ladder to climb up on the garage roof.
I knew I was not supposed to be there, that is why I always waited for Dad to leave before doing it. The “not supposed to be up there”, was part of the fun of course. After all, I might get hurt, ha-ha. I would walk back and forth along the peak of the roof, arms outstretched, a daring tightrope walker.

Getting up on the roof however, was easier than getting down. When I thought it was about time for my parents to get home from the store, I would try climbing down the way I came up, but my legs could not reach the swing set. That left only one way down, I had to jump. It didn’t seem that high standing on the ground looking up. To a ten-year-old looking down though, the drop seemed breath taking.
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Sitting on the edge of the roof, legs dangling over the side, toes stretched, reaching for the ground, I would try counting to three. “One”, take a breath, rock back, rock forward, “two”, breath, back, forward, “thr-two and a half!” This would go on repeatedly until, hearing the car in the driveway, my arms would launch me into space.

There is a moment, not more than a tenth-of a second long, that seems to last for an eternity. That moment where you have leaned out too far to come back. Gravity has not taken over yet, you are still in contact with the roof, but there is no changing course; you are technically, if not actually, airborne.

That moment is the Razor’s Edge, the infinite now. It is the place where life dwells. The memories of those times in the moment are vivid. They are clean breaths of existence. Now is a soap bubble that cannot be caught or held, just observed, and then not consciously. If you separate yourself too much in observation, you are no longer there. It is a stare down with consciousness and we always blink first. We try to capture those moments, to hold them. We use creative outlets driven by a “muse” where we are outside of ourselves. We try sex, or drugs, but still it eludes us, and in our searching, we destroy ourselves.

Today is one of those days were I wish I could skydive. The parachute ride down is not the point, neither is the free fall. It is that butterfly moment in the plane, leaning too far out the door.

Life is waiting, it is there the moment you let go, and there is no turning back.

There is no turning back.


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