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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Flinging about wildly

As a child, there was a game we use to play. Adults taught us this game as a way to become empathetic to others, while we enjoyed the game due to it's cruel side. I give the game credit to teaching us that the world can be hard, and that you could never completely trust anyone, and what it would be like if you were suddenly struck blind.

More than a simple game to teach the young about the world of darkness, it was a game that opened our eyes wider to see that while we needed others to help us along, it was ultimately up to our own instincts and experiences to guide us through life.

Yet once you find yourself, once again a neophyte, you feel as though you have donned that blindfold and your guide is withholding few, yet important directions/instuctions and you end up smacking a street sign post with your face. So what does one do about that? You can't remove the blindfold because you have thoughtful stitched it to yourself, per your dedication and pride. Your only choice now is to wipe the blood from your mouth, dry up those tears and carefully move around that post. Then you find yourself a new friend. ALAS! You are still blindfolded. Here is where you begin flinging about wildly, groping at the air, in the hopes that your desperate hands land on someone that will not be so ambivalent to your needs. Only to find yet another friend that will lead you in the correct direction of your destination, but neglect to inform you that the sidewalk you are on, is under construction ,and you break your ankle in an unfilled hole. And we start the process over.

Welcome to the world of a neophyte. But not just any neophyte. This is the land of the dangerous. Where one mistake can mean failure by death or illness, not just re-stitching something and moving forward. Even the "experts" can find themselves into trouble. A child being killed by a swather, a tractor turning over on grandpa, an arm being amputated by farm equipment, or a tornado picking you up along with several of your livestock, and disposing of you miles from home. Those examples are the extreme side of homesteading, but when you know the families that these things happen to, it is always in the back of your mind, especially when you attempt something new.

Yet on the other side, there comes a point where you can take that blindfold off to see what you have accomplished. And it is indeed a wonderful sight. You begin to enjoy your new found skills, and joyfully you are convinced to replace the blindfold so you can march blindly and bravely into the next obstacle, no matter what the possible consequences are. That's where I am. The blindfold only comes off for a brief moment when I have been successful more than once in the same feat. Yet it is stitched on so well that I am soon a bloody faced mess as I repeatedly hit that post. Call me masochistic, but I love it. You wouldn’t believe the amount of pride, self worth and happiness comes out of living like this.

Just makes you want to come out here and homestead, doesn’t it?

Kansas Farm Accident Facts

4 comments:

Justin said...

I think I can understand a little bit of how you feel.

Jodie said...

a common game but interesting and educational. Although i never played it when i was a child, i suffered this situation when the electric power suddenly cut off in the midnight and i had to grope my way:)

Phelan said...

Justin, I am sure that you do.

JOdie, I am not sure how many people have played Blind Lead as children. I know of several people that have heard of it, but never played.But you get the idea when you have to stumble around without power for an evening. :)

Julie said...

Why exactly do we continue to put that blindfold on and wander aimlessly into unknown territory? A territory that could possibly cause us so much harm and humiliation? Pure faith? Perhaps the desire to succeed at the unknown is greater than the fear of failure? Hmmm...

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