Risky business

Friday, 28 October 2011

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk being called sentimental
To reach out to another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self
To place your ideas & dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and becomes nothing
Only the person who risks is truly free.

These are not my words, but the verse a friend wrote down and gave me in this card today. I don't know what will happen next - neither do you - but I hope I always find the courage to take risks. The freedom of our hearts and minds is all any of us really have for sure. At least I believe so.


Monday, 24 October 2011

You scream until your throat hurts like a bastard, until your ears crackle and shrill inside your own head. This was your exact intention when you stopped the car on the top of Takaka Hill, but that it's coming out of your own body still astonishes you.

Head thrown back wild animal-like, your tonsils vibrate and pitch for miles down the rock-scattered hillside. Out they leap past the golden sandy crescent far below and across Tasman Bay, where it seems like the distant cliffs must be bouncing the decibels back at you.

It ceases only because you know someone somewhere, even up here in all this nothingness, must hear you. It would be difficult to explain. “I’m desperate,” you would say “to alter the current trajectory. Maybe if I can make something jump over, even just half an inch, then something important might change. I need to believe that good people get rewarded in the end.”

They would look at you strangely of course, or assume you were from Golden Bay and raise their eyes, not unlike a Tui advert. That would be bad, because then you might feel the need to convince... “It’s not that I’m unhappy. I know exactly who I am, and I can do anything I put my mind to... but after all this time I still don’t have a clue where I belong... and I’m not sure I see the point.”

About then they’d start freaking out big time. Hopefully enough to see them high-tailing it out of there immediately, but in the case of a goody-do-gooder you’d be stuck until the men in white coats arrived to whisk you away. That’s always another option. It might not be so bad to be drugged up to the eyeballs, living an emotionless life playing scrabble for the rest of your blank days.

Perhaps the easiest explanation would just be to say you’re trying to be a writer, but you can’t get the words out and, right at this point in time, you're feeling a wee bit lost in the frying pan of life. This would be followed by their understanding sigh and sympathetic smile, because everyone knows that writers are mad.