Get the Hell on the Cart

November 28, 2007


Had any epiphanies lately?



Have you ever found yourself suspended in a moment that feels significant but you’re not sure why? You might even call it fateful defined as having momentous significance or consequences; decisively important; portentous. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. In my novel, Aberrations, Angel Duet experiences such a moment when she walks through a loud, smoke-filled bar toward Christian, his Bass shoe gleaming in the filtered light. So now you’re thinking, ahh, it’s all about love and romance. Well, no, it isn’t. It’s about the individual and where life is headed. It’s about a turning point, a vision of possibility, however fantastical or seemingly unrealistic. Whatever it is, it never feels wrong. It’s undeniable and right and true but in the moment lacks meaning. Sometimes it causes the tiniest click in the mind, like light turning on, the first crack of glass, an explosion of our preconceived notions. I’m quite certain it’s psychology.

I’ve lived long enough to realize there are very few truly epiphanous moments in life. But maybe there could be more. Maybe we miss them altogether because we’re so busy barreling though the grown-up lives we’ve constructed, fortresses that keep us safe from change and new horizons and believing in miracles. In his novel, Thirteen Moons, National Book Award winning author, Charles Frazier wrote, “Hesitate to get on the cart and you are lost. Maybe every life has one moment where everything could have been different if you’d climbed on the cart.” In Psalms 46:10 God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Novelist and philosopher, Ayn Rand (http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer) said, “People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it - walk.”

Ayn Rand knew that instead of looking, really seeing the road ahead, we spend our time gawking at the fortress trying to figure out what will become of it, a scary thought for most. We hesitate and lose whatever it was we could have found. I think a lot of people hang onto the kingdom because they can’t believe in the possibility of something better. Life is filled with risk but it can also be filled with faith, that blinding silly notion that everything works for the best, that God is watching and has a plan. How can we even pretend to understand a plan that includes starving children, disease, global warming, and war? Do we need these fortresses to make us feel safe?

So when we find ourselves floating in a pivotal moment, what do we do about that? Do we allow ourselves to know a piece of God, get the hell on the cart, walk straight, and see where it leads? Could that be following our instincts or could it be playing with fire? Either way, we risk changing the life we know. Is that a bad thing, I wonder? Ayn Rand believed that reason should ultimately prevail; the intellect should guide us through our choice. She also taught that we must be true to ourselves. We each must consider the context of our lives; within that context there are correct and incorrect choices to be made. As individuals, we can choose our own path but we must be willing to live with the consequences. That’s why God gave us free will; I don’t think he intended us to waste it by making decisions based on the collective will. I hope my choices today are made for the right reasons … mine, not yours.

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