“Things look impossible when you’ve not done them.”
Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Patterns
Barbara Kingsolver, one of the most prosaic storytellers of our time, also has a knack for capturing a truth and offering it up to her reader with concise clarity. If I could impart one piece of wisdom to young people on the cusp of adulthood, her brief but powerful perspective on tackling new demands might be just the one. Indeed, we do tend to feel unnecessarily overwhelmed by the unknown.
It is a life-changing, freedom-laden lesson to own: Do not be overwhelmed by the challenges that lay before you. Many of them are merely a series of tasks that progress naturally, if you’ll just stay the course and complete each one to the best of your ability. Conserve your adrenaline. Everyday challenges usually require fully engaged attendance, not heroics.
Scary, Not Impossible
I’m walking off the map of my experience,
Shoving off from the Shores of Familiar
With optimism filling my sails,
But my, how the breakers menace.
Slamming and smashing
Sentinels guarding the gates
To my future-
Are they trying to scare me off?
Amidst the churning chaos
A moment of clarity
Flies to my frantic thoughts:
All I must do is stay afloat-
No banzai bailing overboard.
Just sit securely in the raft and plow ahead,
For it’s far outside my power
To command the waves,
No mere mortal can do that.
The sovereign tide
and companion currents
Overrule the coiling combers
Pulling me out to calmer waters.
I will set myself
To mind the rudder,
Trim the sails,
And paddle hard and long,
Dismissing agitation and alarm.
I’ll make a go of enjoying this adventure,
This crossing from familiar shore to future seas.
kpeterson May 29, 2013
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9