Are You a Cliff Dweller?

I pace back and forth on the edge of a great cliff. It’s high, it’s windy, it’s arid, I’m sweaty, and I can’t do it. I can’t leap.

When a decision needs to be made, this is the image in my mind. Cut to a wide shot, and to the left of the screen my silhouette, pacing on the precipice of a sharp cliff. The rest of the shot is nothingness; it’s open, negative space taunting and beckoning me forth into the unknown.

It’s the unknown, isn’t it? It’s what inspiration unapologetically promises. The ride. That space between taking off and landing. Therein reveals another dilemma. We don’t take off because we have no certainty of where to land. And we desire certainty. In fact, I should just call this post “The Problem of Certainty”.

Well, either there is certainty or there isn’t. Empirically, yes, there is. Gravity and the laws of thermodynamics helps to make most things certain; we know this. It’s science. When we speak of certainty in a more figurative matter, such as deciding to show up to the coffee shop on Tuesday morning between 7:00 and 8:00 because that brunette you’ve been eyeing might be there provides an open-ended possibility. Open-ended means there’s probability, probability means likelihood, and likelihood means that you don’t freaking know what’s going to happen. You may have an idea, but it’s not definitive; it can’t be until it’s tested.

It’s the simple definition of a hypothesis: an idea that can be tested.

We may need to become little scientists. When these ideas, dreams, or desires are held up to the light they radiate inspiration. And they remain out of reach for a reason. You’re going to have to leap (take action) towards them in order to find out what they’re made of; ironically enough, once you reach them, you end up finding out more about what YOU’RE made of.

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “Just Show Up”. This implies that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the outcome. At all. We should just show up to that blind date, that hard talk we need to have, that song that needs to be written, that hot-air balloon ride, that fear we keep make excuses for, or lastly, that idea we need to make manifest.

I’m learning that I don’t need to have all the answers. We need to leap. Just freaking jump. After the leap you may get hurt; things may not go as planned. Whatever. You can stay safely and uncomfortably on the cliff or you leap out into the unknown.

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