Friday, February 13, 2009

My serpentine line (or not)

One day several years ago I was walking along a sidewalk.  A friend was walking her dog behind me.  My father had called and I needed to speak with him for some reason, so I was walking along ahead of my friend and talking to my father on the phone for a little stretch.  When I got off the phone and turned around, my friend asked, "Were you doing that on purpose?"  I had no idea what she meant, so she informed me that I had been swerving back and forth from the left edge of the sidewalk to the right edge of the sidewalk and back again and forth again in a long serpentine line.  I hadn't even noticed.

Yes this is some kinda metaphor for my life and the way my path seems to wend its way forward.  Back and forth I go (like a good gemini) between the "opposing" sides of me:  Light and dark?  Rational and emotional?  Structured and flowing?  Practical and artsy?  Am I so dualistic?  If I am, why do I always seem to surprise people with my choices?  I came to Boston to write stories and save money, but I ended up singing in a pop band and, well, let's not talk about what indie rocking has done to my bank balance, shall we? Even I look back sometimes and think, "What the." 

Life can only be understood backwards -- Kierkegaard said that and I agree.  But what if instead of looking behind me, I looked down to see the path I've traveled as a heaven-bound corkscrew? Isn't a serpentine line what you'd get if you tried to unwind a spiral?  I only look snakey when I try to fit in two dimensions.  Remember how boring a slinky is when it gets all stretched out?  I do -- it spoils all the fun!  Well, that clinches it:  I hereby declare my life-journey to be not the sine wave of a flat-headed serpent, but the airstream of a daredevil barnstormer pirouetting into the sky.  Ha!

Doesn't change the fact that I only got 3 hours of sleep last night (2 states down, 2 to go!) but somehow I feel better anyway.  

Happy Friday the 13th.