Monday, March 21, 2011

THE GAMBLE

Since we last met on these pages, I have been to India, California (twice), Nevada (twice), Hawaii, Oregon and even made a trip to another city in my home state of Texas. That's almost 25,000 miles or more and a lot of ground covered in India that I cannot even calculate. All of this in less than a month. Most of my friends who fatigue by looking at my itinerary and those well wishers who are concerned for my health all seem to think that the travel schedule and the ensuing hardships are an effort that can be controlled with better choices. I am even encouraged to take it easy, as if to say that the desire to be tired and the effort to cover this turf is a gamble that I took and lost.

I look at it as an ongoing game that seemingly changes it's rules midstream. Just when I think I am winning and feel that the pot is big enough for me to cash in and walk away, the ante goes up and I extend my effort to play harder and win bigger. But I guess it is the same for everyone. Some are trapped in a cube and wish the choice to leave would be easier. Some are stuck in poverty and pray that the curtain of hope would miraculously be raised over their despondence. Others look at their relationships and buy every self-improvement CD so as to inject some positivity. Then we quickly realize that life is itself a gamble. We are dealt a set of cards and the rest depends on how we play the game.

There are very few absolutes in a world that enchants itself with abstracts. Paintings that cause the mind to conjure up personal reflections on what the artist might have meant are passed off as artistic brilliance because of the ability to have so many interpretations. But life is not a painting that can be gambled in some cosmic illusion. Pain is real and grief is pervasive. There are absolutes in this world that provide the backbone for the weary, an aide to the despondent and a dream to the visionary. I do tire physically and mentally like most of humanity and every itinerary produces its own dramatic effect. However knowing in my heart that all the doing has been done, allows me to trudge through life while playing the game. I guess in business-speak when the heart is sure- it moves from being a gamble to a calculated risk. As the singer crooned, you have to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and know when to walk away. I trust the rules and the game. Do you?

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