Do You Make Good Choices: A Moment With Bill Reflection
The Choices We Make
How many choices do we make during our lifetime? Millions, right? Now let me ask you another question: how many correct choices have you made? Give me a percentage…..10%? How about 30%? Or are you batting .500 with your decision-making skills?
I would love to sit down with you and discuss your answer to that question. I’m guessing there would be some of you who really would say 10%; I’m guessing there are some who would say higher than 75% although I doubt there are many in that category.
It really boils down to our outlook on life, don’t you think, and our own personal philosophy? A person who lives in the negative realm is going to think he/she makes a large percentage of horrible decisions. A more positive person, one who feels good about who they are, will have a larger percentage of correct choices.
So how about you? Are you a positive person or a negative person?
Are you aware that you can change?
A mentor of mine always left me with the following saying: “Have a nice day unless you made other plans.”
Think about it.
The Paths We Follow
There was a time in my life when I believed that life was linear. By that I mean that we followed straight lines over the landscape of our existence. We start out, take a right turn here, a left turn there, and eventually we end up at some point on the roadmap and our journey is over.
Today I believe that life is circular in nature. In other words, we end up exactly where we began and where we were destined to finish our journey all along.
I’ll let you think about that later; for now, I want to let the main character in my latest novel, Toby King, talk about this subject. Toby is a writer, and I guess he is a mixture of a poet and essayist. He is a student of life, and his life has been brutal at times; still, he has arrived exactly where he was meant to arrive, and he is finally at peace.
So read the words of Toby as he gives you “The Black Hole Boogie” in free form verse.
The Black Hole Boogie
Two old men, sitting on a park bench, chess board spread out before them, knight to bishop’s three, pawn to whatever, constantly moving, constantly adjusting, constantly prodding and poking and looking for that damn advantage. Life sucks says the one; life is love says the other. Bullshit says the one; I love you says the other. You’re full of shit says the one; I’m full of love says the other. Well then love is shit says the one; well then love is life says the other.
And so it goes for two old friends, and so it goes for many, the Black Hole a’callin them, waiting for their answer, waiting for them to take one wrong step, or two, or three, however many it takes to reach the precipice and dance the final Black Hole Boogie. Do this, don’t do that, choices upon choices and each with a consequence, for we all have to pay the going freight and there are no discounts on this journey.
The thing is, we never see how monumental an action is until it has been acted upon, and then the full weight of that freight train comes rushing down upon us, and then we look back and we trace the steps to that moment and we see….oh man we see….the path we took and at any moment on that path we could have changed the outcome….and that is when we are overcome by the helplessness of it all, because don’t you see, if we had numerous opportunities to change the outcome and we didn’t, well then what does that say about us? What does that say about our ability to make rational choices? What does that say about our innate skill of determining right from wrong? What does that say about our mental friggin’ capabilities if we pass up countless moments that could have altered, could have diverted, could have completely re-directed the path of our life?
It’s all enough to make a grown man cry; it’s enough to make an intelligent man question his intelligence. It’s enough to make you grateful for that Black Hole, just tuck it under your chin and embrace the warmth of giving up and throwing in the towel, because if you can’t see the countless warning signs that litter your journey, or you see them and ignore them, then really, what’s the point in continuing, in bravely marching forward like the good little soldier?
And so you give up, toss in the towel, say No Mas and curl up in the fetal and pray to whatever god you are following these days that it just doesn’t get worse. That’s the best you can hope for, a holding pattern in misery, and I gotta tell ya, that is one fried shit place to be. Others daydream of riches, fame, happiness and love, and there you are, a little butterball in your bed, shivering on hot days and sweating on cold ones, just thankful that the pain has leveled out to a manageable level. One foot in front of the other you go, randomly tossing to and fro, destination unknown as the calendar pages turn and the years add digits to your age and the truth you once were so sure of turns out to be a fabrication based on fairy tales, for happily ever after is for suckers, and love conquers all is for the demented, and the Black Hole holds the truth and the way to oblivion and damn, man, oblivion sounds pretty damn good.
There are those who believe death is the end, the period, the final punctuation of our lives, but don’t you buy it folks. There are people right now, right outside that door there, who are breathing but expired. The heart is pumping, the veins they be accepting, muscles move, lungs do their job, but still it all adds up to dead, for the mind has lost hope and the heart only functions but does not thrive. They are warm-bodied but as cold as the cadavers on ice down at the morgue, and you can see them every minute of every day, dancing the dance, swaying to the music only they hear, the Black Hole Boogie providing the rhythm, the melody and the wall of sound. They speak when spoken to; they work when it is expected; they eat to survive and they appear for all to see to be fully functioning members of the human race….but….look in their eyes and you will see the conductor of the Black Hole Boogie looking back at you, devoid of feeling, devoid of hope and devoid of caring.
And so it goes. The happy endings are few and far between for those. Once that Boogie is cranked up in volume all words of counsel are drowned out. The natural progression continues, from walking dead to dead as a doornail, and then and only then will the Boogie music end and all will be silent, and that elusive peace, that apparition that was always just out of reach, will finally be theirs.
And the mourners will mourn and the weepers will weep, and they will toss around conjecture while they eat their casseroles and drink their fortifieds; he should have done this, man, and he could have done that, and why didn’t he see what was so obvious, man, there were so many times he could have gotten it right and dammit, what a waste.
And so it goes. The old men continue their game and their taunting; conviction abounds but convincing never happens, for one sees the whole board and understands while the other only sees one move by one move, no interconnection, no relationships to the whole, no answers to the questions…..only “life sucks” served up with the Boogie as background music.
We Have a Choice
Remember those four words as you go about your day today. You have a choice! You are not some leaf being blown about by the winds of change. You can direct your flight, and it all starts with attitude my friends…..it all starts with attitude.
Have a great day unless you made other plans.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)