Life at the Launch

How to kill your dreams with belief

“It’s far too dangerous downriver,” he yelled. “You best drop anchor here.”

“How is it too dangerous?” I asked.

“All the locals know it,” he said (with obvious delight that he had caught my attention) I heard about the dangers and dropped anchor here years ago and never regretted it. The fishing is always good, it’s the catching that’s a little slow,” he mumbled, hehe. “But the folks are nice,” he assured me. The mans boat was backed into a tiny calm, facing the river like it was going somewhere, but moss and algae covered the hull and the anchor rope was colored darkrotten brine, growing its own ecosystem below the waterline—she was sparkling clean up top, though.

“Come here young man, we need to talk before you go any further.” He was facing the sun and squinting, using his hand for a visor. “We need to talk, or you?” I thought, but my politeness won me over as always. So I listened to the man and started to doubt my advance.

“People are holding here because the river ends up yonder. It gets rocky and the shallow rapids are just too dangerous—then the waterfall”, he warned. “How far down?” I asked. “Well, it’s certainly too much for you to portage, especially traveling alone, but it’s best to just play it safe,” he said confidently. “A few I know of never made it back.”

So I ask, “have you seen them?” “Huh, who?” he questioned. “The rapids, mister, you know these rapids?”

“I’ve been down that way but it was just too desolate, like the silent feeling of lonely dread. I came back here when the water got quick, but I still get a heart bump whenever I recall it.”

His tone was urgent and very convincing, pointing here and there over to others, over-explaining every detail genuinely. Mostly everybody it seemed had settled within view of the launch. It was bustling with business, trading, fishing, kids swimming in some designated areas. It was all fairly quaint, but missing something I couldn’t put my mind on at the time. But eventually I learned to live with an artful regret as well.

I came here with the high hopes of a grand adventure, but this seemed like a safer bet for the short time. Then came a woman, the kids, I got a pretty good job and started helping others that passed this way avoid the rocks and the dangers downriver.

My wing-suit finally got lost in a box somewhere, and now I’ve outgrown it anyway. I’m far too old and responsible to just cut the rope and drift away. Maybe tomorrow, but the thought is always there, tucked away in my dreams.

Oh man what we give up to guarantee ourselves a little more time on this rock. But, the end comes regardless. Live baby, live


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

29 thoughts on “Life at the Launch”

  1. As Hunter S. Thompson said: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s a nice parable. I’m always regretting not launching down the river into adventure. I have to remind myself often that it’s a waste of emotional energy. As Frost tried to tell us – the road not taken is often just another road not a better road. The one taken had some very lovely scenery – family, job, friends. None of whom were down river. Maybe there is other more brilliant scenery down river, but maybe it’s just different and I would have wondered often about the lovely placid pools with all the nice people had I launched down the river. I think it’s worthy of consideration that the unknown is not necessarily better, adventures are not necessarily fun and the love I have is valuable and not regrettable. Our culture adores adventure and the unknown in stories, but in reality – they are often unpleasant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may not be better, but it’s knowing that makes it count for me. Interesting perspective though. I don’t think we had to give up the adventure but life is so distracting the way it is set up. And ultimately we wind up siding with fear—the fear the man seems to have for your safety, bleeds over into killing your own dreams.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jim, your launch story prompts this one:
    The parable of the Mudlumpers

    Once upon a time a giant wheel, like a buggy wheel, spun in space. Inside this wheel were stuck clumps of mud and in that mud things grew. Sometimes bits of mud dried up and fell off, and sometimes bits clump up to the rim again.

    Everything that existed lived upon that wheel, on the rim, in the mud, there coming and going without purpose because there was no other type of existence to compare their condition to.

    Somewhen in the long ago, some character, first as a joke, then seriously, began a campaign of misinformation declaring himself the Maker of the wheel. He learned a few magic tricks, taught some to beat up others as a typical bully and warlord and forced more and more to accept his rule, then to worship him. He made up rules and regulations and claimed to be giving the Mudlumpers purpose.

    Once he got things going good, he performed his best magic trick: he “disappeared” and left his benighted followers to work it out as best they could, or according to their various penchant for hate, anger and malice, the qualities he had nurtured into their brains. He renamed these qualities faith, hope and love to provide justification for his followers when they, well, acted with hate, anger and malice.

    The followers were as clueless as all others as to where their “lord” had disappeared to so they stole other people’s myths, re-wrote history, told fanciful stories, invented rituals and imposed their beliefs on the rest of the mud world. More and more Mudlumpers went along with it since they had nothing else to go by.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, soften it up, invent a new translation of “god’s word,” throw that in there somewhere and who’d even notice? And if anyone wondered, if it’s in god’s word, then it’s in god’s world and it’s all good.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great story! I don’t necessarily regret the times I’ve played it safe, but I may have missed out on some interesting adventures. I’ve had those, too, of course. Can’t live on adrenaline 24/7…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see your point Eilene, but every dream or talent doesn’t require adrenaline (unless your in Colorado) Haha. We’re so often guided by the principle dreams and fears of others expectations, when we love what we’re doing we seem to find a way if we give it a shot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. whatever the present moment offers, that is the path. that is your face. adventure or no adventure, makes no impact on the real You. you’re merely the witness to the show.

    sending you a link to Suzanne Segal’s experiences of Self. it’ll give you a vision into what that means. she had a sudden awakening (with no spiritual preparation) while waiting in a bus stop. if we could we all be so lucky!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder how long she had the tumor? It isn’t unusual to have odd presentations or even drastic changes in perceptions with a little nugget growing in your noggin. I’m not sure she was lucky. Maybe the second experience was a little more useful, but without any perspective I’d think it quite frightening

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, the tumor was a misfortune. not all awakenings are accompanied by tumors, LOL!

        i like how she describes clearly that non-local awareness that brings the Knowing that you were never just the body or the thoughts, that your existence encompasses absolutely all reality, how she said “i was driving through myself” (as Self is all there is and the only thing that is real). I had a similar feeling years ago, but if you don’t stay with it for a longer time, the world swallows back again very easily. ideally, you establish yourself in that ‘Knowing’ of your true nature beyond any doubt, until you can function normally in mundane activities, and at same time remain established in that higher awareness. then, the brain itself changes (it literally creates new grooves) that adapt to the new vision, a new relationship with the world. it’s no longer a relationship of ‘me vs world’, but rather ‘I Am That’.

        this vision of consciousness awakening is a common one to all awakenings. it simply shows that reality really isn’t what we’re accustomed to believing, based on senses/perceptions only. i’m really glad you read it!😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I take all your avisos seriously. Hah! The incident at the bus reminded me of the time lag that some people experience.
          A friend of mine and her kids were waiting for her husband to get home from fishing. They all heard the car pull-up in the driveway and the daughter jumped up to go greet him. She spent a moment outside and as she was going back in the house shouted to the family, “he’s not here”. Mom peeked out the window and there was no car in the driveway. A moment later they were all inside and heard the door close on the car, went to the door and there he was, like nothing happened. He arrived after he had already arrived. Interesting.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. interesting. some kind of collective lapse in consciousness. time really exists only in our mind, like a mechanism to allow us to cope.
            some people say that we are born in order to experience time/space.
            time is definitely not a linear thing. i was once cured from a ailment before the ailment was discovered. after then, it disappeared as quickly as it disappeared. i think it was there only to show me what can happen if i’m not careful with certain things.

            imagine yourself days before your conception, or after the death of the body. that is your true nature. right now, you are dreaming you are a person. but what is it that ‘observes’ the person, that can observe thoughts coming and going? that’s the key. this requires close attention to awareness. nothing else.

            have a marvelous day, Jim!😊

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well sir. I agree. Even if there is a spirit world and we came here to be tested and gain experience, how few ever leave the confines of their anchoring bias.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s an age-old problem. Thoreau’s “Walden” (one of my faves) explores the perils of living a life of complacency and resignation.

        Unfortunately, there is no universal rule book on how to live your life. Each of us must figure it out for ourselves, because what works for others may not work for us.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: