I stand in perpetual amazement and awe at the courage, will and dedication it takes to live on the cutting edge of things. How is it that people find those first inklings of a new trail and then, also, the nerve and wit to set foot on it, the persistence and bravery to pursue it to its unknown, unforeseeable end? Seems to me that there’s far more than a hint of the miraculous in the whole enterprise: to recognize that there’s something utterly new and unprecedented Out There somewhere is astounding enough, but to have the wherewithal to pursue it with passion or plain doggedness is much more remarkable, in my view.
It’s rather beyond my ken, this intrepid spirit–or willful folly–that moves anyone to go off into the great unknown and sail over the flat edge of the earth in a pipsqueak of a boat, looking for answers, or for adventure. While I know from my own very limited experience that those things in my life I’ve most treasured generally came at the price of a certain amount of risk beyond my usual, I’ve never quite been able to imagine how there can be people who actually seek such danger, who desire huge challenges. My idea of a grand showdown with Fate falls somewhere between going into a different grocery store than my usual ones and putting on pants that were a little too tight last week.
I am sincerely grateful that there are other people on this planet willing to plunge into the unknown and take on its vagueness and vagaries head first, for without them I wouldn’t exist. It’s not simply that I wouldn’t live in my accustomed comfort and safety, but indeed that I wouldn’t know what was safe-vs-poisonous to eat, let alone which of the seemingly available house-caves were already occupied by less than teddy-cuddly bears. On top of all the basics of safety and shelter and health I am glad that there have been explorers and inventors and pioneers of every sort, all out there avidly finding, making, fixing and each in his or her own way advancing the things that make life so livable nowadays for me and for others like me who are equally unprepared to live on the razor’s edge.
And I’m especially happy that so many survived these trips to the borders of reality and came back to tell the tale. It’s pretty swell for the rest of us, and I’ll bet you, too, are glad to be among the surviving heroes–especially if you’re among the handful that eventually came off the high of discovery and achievement and said to yourselves in a faint echo of what I was saying all along: ‘What on earth was I thinking!‘ If you’d like your thanks at your personal high noon or any other time, I’ll be right here in the safe and comfortable reality you bought for me, slinging no guns at Destiny other than those housed in my safe and comfortable internal universe.