Some thoughts on risk-taking

The Wide Plain of Death

I placed one foot on the wide plain
of death, and some grand immensity
sounded on the emptiness.

I have felt nothing ever
like the wild wonder of that moment.

   -- Rumi

I think, reading this poem in the context of this image, that that must be part of the thrill of camping: a single campfire burning in a dark landscape, away from the city lights with only the stars to light the wide sky; that sense of being vulnerable and small in a wilderness full of unknowns and dangers...

It's another one of those places where opposites rub up against each other, where fear can rise and the intensity of it can feed our spirits.  I understand these concepts, but unlike the campers of the world I rarely if ever choose to go there, and only arrive kicking and screaming at the sharp points where dark and light collide...

I'm reading this morning about vulnerability, and the importance of it, and I realize how much I try to defend myself; how terrified I am to trust -- on any level -- and now, of course, that I understand the roots of that, I'm wondering: will I be able to let it go?  Because I also know I look forward to change more than the average soul, and have this curious tendency to go boldly into certain kinds of new adventures -- perhaps because I DO know I can trust MYSELF in certain circumstances.

Perhaps we all have this curious balance of risk-taking and risk-aversion...  What if, instead of beating ourselves up for the risks we fear to take, we were to celebrate the risks we DO take?  And isn't that why we need one another -- to hold each other's hands and leap?


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