Sunday, October 04, 2009

Truth gathering.

"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way." (Carl Sandburg)

Sometimes I share quotes with my stepdad and he, in turn, fires little witticisms from writers and intellectuals and God-fearing men and such back in my direction. We’ve done so for more years than I can recall. And, well, they pretty much run the gamut: reflecting, say, our view on life or things we admire or new perspectives that are worth exploring and ingesting. Now and again, he’ll ask me where I find my quotes and, truth be told, I don’t have a readymade answer. I have no books filled with quotes for every situation or mood. It’s more like they hide under rocks, rocks I end up stumbling across in my path. They end up finding me sometimes, as cliche as that might sound. I think a good lot of us are more or less in constant states of discovery and, when something rings true to us, we latch hold of it. We devour a few lines like they’re poetry made for our own lives. Maybe we’re truth gatherers?

The above quote landed in my lap this past week and I happen to like it quite a lot. I’m not a worrier—I’m not one who conjures up five bad ways for a particular situation to end. Instead, I see life for its possibilities. They’re endless. There are so many directions and opportunities and dreams to seek out. I’m in this for the adventure and the discovery and all that comes with it. A lot of the time, I believe that’s what fuels me. My yearned-for optimism tends to chase away my fear. Sure, I’ve loved and lost. I’ve set out for greatness sometimes and crash landed. Still, I don’t fear the future. I can’t wait to see what’s behind Door No. 3. I highly anticipate what’s next.

That said, I empathize with Carl Sandburg. I like his outlook. It reflects mine.

My stepdad, on the other hand, sees it through different eyes, stripping the quote down to being about faith, plain and simple. Perhaps that’s what Sandburg is getting at ... we don’t know how our life will play out, but we believe in an outcome and march towards it. What happens, happens. If that’s the case, maybe I’ve more faith in me than I originally thought I did. Given the choices, I’d rather have some of that to spare than to be without it. You know?

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