We stood on the edge. On the edge of something greater than ourselves. But knowing that never made it any easier to jump. For we still clung to what we knew. ‘The devil you know,’ she said to me with a smile. But is that what pushes us over the edge? Where do we draw the line, that line in the sand, once crossed and no turning back? She said ‘I don’t want to go back. There’s nothing for me there. I burned those bridges long ago,’ and with those words she stepped forwards. She crossed the line, the point of no return, and her foot fell on empty air, nothingness giving way to the ground opening beneath our feet. She turned as she fell and called out to me.
‘Come on in! The water’s lovely!’ And so I jumped. There was nothing else for it. Jumped, fell, spun, turned. Let the sky fall away from me and the ground come up to greet me. ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ she said as I caught up to her, tumbling now together through the air. ‘One things leads to another and didn’t you know that this is how it would all turn out?’ And I start singing. I sing, and she joins in, and, maybe it’s my imagination, or maybe a trick of the wind, but I hear the chorus line, faintly in the distance. Singing about revolutions and barricades and the Garden of the Lord.
And it builds slowly to the finale.
Take me somewhere, I turn to her and sing. Take me somewhere east of Eden. And with those words she reaches out, takes me by the hand and pulls me closer and everything goes suddenly dark.
We wake on a distant shore. Open our eyes on a world washed clean. Made anew. A painting, brought somehow to life. ‘Was this your dream too?’ she asks, sounding surprised. My dream was you. ‘Then both our dreams came true,’ she says to me, and we kick off our shoes and run screaming into the waves.
But where now do we go from here? In this Information Age, where soundbites are the norm for conversation, where the shared experience of a morning commute has become an isolating passage of time as everyone locks in on the phones in front of their faces, where a conversation made up of single typed sentences delivered via satellite is more comfortable than a discussion face to face. We’re isolating ourselves even as we’re becoming more connected. Every developmental gift we receive in this rapidly accelerating universe we’ve created changes some fundamental aspect of human behavior. Behavior that’s been shaped by those millennia you spoke of, societal adaptation rather than physical, suddenly being put on steroids. Adapt or get thrown under the bus. Every day we wrap our heads around some new wonder, and normality for us consists of taking for granted ideas and concepts that should blow our minds.
I heard it pointed out that every time we make some petty complaint about the hassle of flying on an airplane, we should remind ourselves that we’re floating 30,000 feet in the air, sitting in a seat beside a hundred other people, in a tin can that will deliver us to the other side of the world. Don’t take that for granted! That’s a miracle, regardless of how bad the food is!
So what is it? Where is it all going? Why can my mind only address these things in fragmented blurbs? Indistinct, hazy, and unfocused. I, along with the rest of this ADHD generation, have lost the ability to think clearly. To avoid distraction.
Or maybe that’s a result of the concussions from playing rugby.
Either way. I want the world’s head on a platter. Everything I need to know, delivered right to my doorstep. Or preferably, since this is the modern age, delivered as a podcast. ‘Today’s Words of Wisdom.’
Somebody get on that.
I wonder if in this Information Age, if what our real problem is, is that we know too much. Maybe we’ve reached the point where a revolution is more the clamouring for a re-gression. We’ve come too far, too fast, and we’re in the park now getting ready for the three-legged races, but we didn’t stop to smell the roses on the way here. We’re missing something. Something we didn’t even realize was important until somebody pointed out we didn’t have it anymore.
So what are the seeds we need to plant? The seeds for this quiet revolution? Things change, things progress, despite our best efforts, but nothing happens independently. Organically. Nothing is inevitable, but everything bows to pressure. Eventually. So where, what indeed, is that pressure point?
Every age is a golden one… until the next one comes along.