Sunday, April 14, 2019


I haven't always understood why anyone would want to jump out of airplanes, climb peaks, race down snowy mountainsides on sticks, or be dragged across a lake strapped to a parachute. The last time I was at a beach with my mother, she gestured at the tourists flying like kites over the bay. "Would you ever want to do that?" she wondered.

That's when I realized what we have in common. Because I love a good rush of adrenaline, too. I just don't have to dance with my own mortality to get it. Lesser risks suffice to provide me with the thrill of survival. Going on stage without notes.  Walking into a public school. Inviting a stranger to dance. Inviting a friend to dance (which can be scarier!). Grocery shopping without a bra. Exposing my soul. And--most exciting of all--what I think of as Intellectual Skydiving. 

I get a buzz from daring thoughts. Entertaining dangerous ideas. Challenging norms. Blurring black and white. Indulging imaginations with real social repercussions. Viewpoints that carry potential for rejection, that could get one shunned or branded a heretic by one group or another. Conclusions one shares guardedly, or not at all.

After decades of change and transition and challenging my former ways of thinking, I’m always afraid the adventurous part of the ride is over. I've reached the boring end of the line. Get used to it, lady, I tell myself. It's called being stable. (Go ahead and laugh.) This is where we live now, centered. Rooted and grounded. There's nowhere left to grow. 

My heart looks wistfully back, convinced I will never again experience the heady rush of flirting with heresy or peering over theoretical cliffs or chasing my curiosity into dark, twisting, forbidden caverns.

But then... I do it again. 

And it's exhilarating.