Last night I was scrolling through the pictures I took during Day 1 of my weekend away, and I can’t stop coming back to the picture I took of a group of people, who were blindfolded and walking in a human chain through Mid-Town. I assume this is a martial arts class based on the shared uniform of belted white heavy cotton “pajamas,” but I don’t know that for certain. The blindfolded guided walking reminds me of trust walks that were a staple at my summer camp in the Texas hill country.
It also reminds me of a Biblical line that suggests when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch.
I was riveted watching this human chain lurch through a busy intersection. I wanted to join them. Each of them seemed calm and focused– all each had to do was hold on to the person right in front of him and take the next step. I imagine that the blindfold helped sharpen the focus required for the task. It looked appealing to me in its simplicity and the limited range of choices.
Ah, the heavy burdens of freedom and choice.
And when I find myself thinking these thoughts, I want to buy one of those soft pretzels sold on the street and punch myself in the face with it. Here I am– on this wonderful trip I am grateful to be on — I can go, see, and do anything I want, but I am making moon eyes at a dojo’s human chain?
And it’s so damn me. I am on the streets of NYC with complete freedom, and I long to have safety and limits and restrictions. But, the minute I get back home, and I am responsible for making breakfast or pulling lipstick shards out of Sadie’s mouth, guess who is going to be aching with longing for a solitary walk through a city– New York or Topeka or Waxahachie? Anywhere new, exciting or unfamiliar. When those limits appear, I rebel like a pit bull on a short leash.
So as the sun rises over my head this morning, I have a sincere wish to be here, fully and presently. I can’t help that freedom and new experiences frighten me and that discomfort makes me wish for the familiar– even when getting away from the familiar is the whole reason for this trip. I want to lean ever so slightly more into the unfamiliar and the gaping discomfort. I want to be a little more brave woman warrior and a little less child’s pose. Just for today.