“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation...”
- Henry David Thoreau
That’s the better-known
half of the quote. The remainder seems, at least to my ear, both less profound
and more disturbing: “...and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
That scares me.
Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.
- German Proverb
Because the hard truth
is that I feel I really have something to offer. Maybe not to the world, but to people. To a person. To a woman. One woman
, in particular, whose name I will neglect to mention here. And yet I can’t help but think of the obstacles
, the problems, the chances involved in actually taking a stand, in trying to do something, because another hard truth is that anyone who tries runs the risk of failure.
“Failure is not an option.”
Which was fine for Gene Kranz
. Fine for Lovell
, and Haise
. But it isn’t nearly as convenient a benchmark
Failure is always an option. Or at least a possibility. Because I like to sing, I like opening up and belting out an off-key version of “Unknown Legend”
or “Walking in Memphis”
. I enjoy singing. But usually in the shower
. I enjoy writing, I enjoy drawing, and painting, and woodworking. But failure is an ever-present possibility
. A terrifying possibility. So I enjoy my singing, my drawings, my poetry, and all the rest. But in private. At least mostly, though I do share with some. But such selective sharing barely counts.
Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.
- Stephen King
I fear. And it is this quality that binds me to the mass of men