Something over 300 years ago an English poet named Alexander Pope said, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”
I’ve always liked the quote…simply because to me, it means “No limits.”
Angels have no fear, you see. I’ve met a few.
I’ve always tried to live my life without fear. Mostly, I’ve succeeded. I’d like to think so anyway.
No fear. There are benefits, but there are costs too.
I’ve flown…and fallen.
I’ve done great things…and failed spectacularly.
I’ve found the love of my life…and experienced pain no man should endure.
I’ve vanquished my demons…just in time to find new ones.
I ride. I fly. I love. I live.
“Passion as principle.” It’s a hell of a thing. When exercised fully, it should mean “No regrets.” I have regrets. Damn few of them though.
From an old rambling of mine:
When it breaks, I fix it
When it falls, I pick it up
When it threatens, I subdue it
When it persists, I kill it
That is my creed, my mantra, my doctrine
Not really a choice, parts of me just are
I am a mover. A doer. A builder. A fixer.
There is little beyond my reach.
So why then, am I sitting here in the middle of the night…pondering decisions…questioning what is the right thing…the smart thing…the safe thing?
As I’ve aged I find myself evaluating more, and “leaping” less. Is this experience? Or just comfort disguising itself as misgivings?
Everything positive in my life…EVERYTHING that I’ve succeeded at…EVERYTHING that I makes me what I am has been the result of taking a risk…some of them not even calculated. Sure, I’ve fallen too. I’ve screwed up, failed, lost money, lost love, and lost friends.
Hell, once I lost an entire motorcycle, but the bike was small and the mud was deep and that’s another story.
Without risk, I wouldn’t have my home, many of my friends, my lover, my job, my motorcycle, my books, my art…without risk I would simply be surviving…instead of living.
But where’s the line? Risk or folly? How much role should my passion play in determining my risk? When should I leap, and when should I cower?
Tough questions, those…
Mostly, my instincts have served me well, but as I’ve aged I’ve found myself occasionally hesitant to move…to pounce.
Is that experience? Am I too comfortable? Or is it something else?
I’ve regretted it…that hesitation…on occasion. “He who hesitates is lost.”
The full quote is, “He who hesitates is lost. Swift and resolute action leads to success; self-doubt is a prelude to disaster.”
That’s from “Cato”, by another English poet, Joseph Addison…also about 300 years ago.
And so here I sit…in the middle of the night where my demons roam…questioning my instincts despite knowing they’ve always served me reasonably well…wondering whether the uncertainty is legitimate experience or something else…wondering…WONDERING…whether to act on my passion.
Wondering whether “Passion as principle” has a place in my life. Wondering whether passion now or regret for not acting is going to hurt more later. Or will acting on my passion lead to regret later?
What is this feeling? Doubt? Fear? Am I hungry?
It’s a new feeling for me.
I don’t like the taste of it.
Where angels fear to tread. No limits. Fear itself. Media blitz. Doom. Gloom.
Love. Life. Desire.
Live. Ride. See. Fly.
Things are within my grasp…but should I lose my grip, it’s a long way to fall.
I’ve been told at times to remove the emotion from the decision making process. I don’t see the point. I can’t even imagine where I’d be today if I’d done that in my life. Passion drives me. Passion moves me. Passion and emotion define me. I do what I do…because I’m passionate about it.
Remove the passion, and what else is left?
Passion as principle.
Is the flight worth the fall?
And still I have no answers.
I hope y’all are sleeping better than I am.