Ordinary Men Without Visions

“What choice remains? Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:  it is the usual freedom of men without visions.” (Thomas Merton)

I have a lot of hopes and dreams for the future… but these visions have certainly changed the last few years.

I suppose about now you are expecting me to list a set of goals, a list of things I’d like to accomplish while trying to leave my mark on the world.  But really, right now, I am simply hoping for a person or two to walk and talk with (other than my wife;  my wife and I are together on this. But I do not write her story, that is hers to tell). 

As my life continues down the path less traveled, the end result of this off-road journey is that you encounter fewer people to walk with. But the ones you do encounter “get you”, and you “get them”, instantly.  We all have friends, the kind that are waving from over there. I appreciate them too, but this is not what I am writing about.

One of my hopes and dreams as I continue to develop my “Off-Road Disciplines”, is that I might intersect with a few buddies for the journey, both here in Mali, and in Canada.

I have asked people walking this outside-the-box journey,

“Would you go back to the old life, the one rooted in the institutions, and the old way of doing things?”.

“Hell, no!” is basically the response every time. 

Despite the small bouts of loneliness, a total inability to see the future, and experiencing the unknowns of a journey NOT all prescribed and mapped; they say they feel freer, lighter, more human, more alive. With time we learn to live with the annoyingly false assumption (usually more like a childish accusation), that we must be bitter. Why would we expect people that see only one cookie cutter alternative to bless anything else? We would be asking for something that their paradigm makes them incapable of granting.

No one likes to admit they are ordinary, but I know that in many ways, I am.

However, I am not an, “ordinary man without visions.”  My visions have simply changed their focus. The focus needed changing. This life twist is best characterized as running toward something, rather than running away from something. There is something on the horizon; do you see it? Once you do, there is no going back.

“If you are disillusioned, you probably had illusions that needed dissing.”

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