365 // Fail better

I took my health for granted. Drinking from noon until noon again and waking up to cross a mountain range the next morning.

And then there was Iceland.

I loved the struggle. Always boasting of seeking the hardest path. Betting against the odds and relishing on the challenge.

And then there was Iceland.

I thought I had the answers. The meta-knowledge on how walking down the path differed from knowing it. No hay camino, se hace camino al andar - and those were worn soles.

And then there was Iceland.

I believed in a four letter word. And that a deed done with it could never be lost.

And then, there was a weekend in Reykjavik. An alarm clock that went off too early Monday morning. A whispered "don't let go" before the hotel door closed behind me. A drive to the airport, and then, the void.

- - -

I recovered completely, once more highlighting just what a fabulous piece of machinery hosts my consciousness. But I am now aware of just how special simply carrying out everyday activities by myself can be.

I still cherish my ordeals and voluntarily give up comfortable positions, be it in sport, work or elsewhere, to fight what I believe is the good fight. Yet I'm learning to give up martyrdom and realise that the struggle should not be an end unto itself.

I still undertake those metaphorical hikes, however I now appreciate that sometimes, the walk will not leave a path - or that such path may lead to a dead end and one must then backtrack, as hurtful as that may be; one way or another, the knowledge gained is not static but must constantly be learnt anew.

- - -

Someone once told me it only happens once a lifetime. That I know not to be true. Poor are the souls who have not yet lived through it. And I'm all the richer for - even if only fleetingly - having touched the skies once again.

Yet a price was paid for this experience. The effects of those butterflies flapping their wings were felt by others as well, and I have to acknowledge my share in not properly restraining those, or dealing with their aftermath. Howe is right: the knowledge that makes us cherish innocence makes innocence unattainable. Which, however, in turn "adds to a rich and complete picture of being human (...), part of the wildness and beauty of (a) life lived with depth, commitment and grace" (from a comment in this very blog).

Indeed. Always - and all ways - Yay!