Sunday, November 12, 2006

Life: Railroad Track? or Circus Tent?

Another in my continuing "Metaphors for Life" series.

I ask myself... "Is life like a railroad track? Or is it more like a circus tent?"

I drive around a lot, and I have plenty of time to engage in this type of dialog with myself. So, I observe (as all great minds do), and I see some lives on a railroad track. These people know where they're going, and it seems their path goes straight there. It may take a while, sometimes it's a slow train, (a few of my friends had the bullet train), but they keep going in a straight, sensible, reasonable track to success.

And by success, I don't just mean career. It could be career. It could be marriage and relationship. (Kudos to those who can maintain a single, dedicated, relationship over decades!) It could be inner peace, or enlightenment, or musical performance. But, for some, that track goes on and doesn't swerve suddenly.

Then, I observe some more, and notice some lives in a circus tent. Lots of acts going on at the same time. New acts every few minutes. Occasionally, you get shot out of a cannon. (There is ALWAYS a net. One must remember this in the circus tent life!) The music is kind of brassy, but uplifting. People around you laugh and feel good and eat cotton candy.

Yeah. I'm a circus girl. And that's cool. What isn't cool is when I compare my circus program with the train schedule. OMG! I never know what time I'll get into a station. I don't even know what station I'll be at next!! This comparing is a source of suffering (not sure if Buddha knew about this, or if it fits somewhere in the 'craving, aversion, delusion' trio.)

Is there anyone who doesn't enjoy a circus? They're great! And living the circus life is also great. But don't marry a conductor. They want to punch tickets, stay on track, and don't like cotton candy on the seats.

The busy mind then begins to evaluate. It LOVES to evaluate (almost more than it loves comparing). Which is better? Train track? Your train track friends are successful, secure, stable, in durable relationships. That looks pretty good. Circus tent? It's lively, surprising, and sometimes scary. Hmmm.

Neither is better. Any more than Almond Joy ice cream is any better than Chocolate Brownie Fudge Chunk. They're both great. What is NOT great is that evaluating mind... Is my life OK? Is it OK to like Almond Joy ice cream? Maybe I really should like Chocolate Brownie Fudge Chunk more, (a LOT of people do). What is it with me and coconut anyway? Must be genetic. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate yourself into a miasma of uncertainty and even (sometimes) depression.

How about enjoying the trip. On a train? Enjoy the scenery. Smile at the conductor. In the circus? Remember there is a net! Laugh with the clowns. Be a clown!

And if the circus is ready to open in a new town, it's OK to take the train.

1 comment:

Josephina said...

cheers to that :)
thanks for enlighting me.

your loving fanbase here in Urugway,
Josephina