Sunday 22 June 2008

On the outside looking in....

Do you know the Plato fable about men in the cave who could only see the shadows from the fire outside on their cave walls. They insisted that that the whole world was in their cave and even when someone took them by the hand and led themselves outside to see the fire and the fresh air and the sky, they refused to believe it and went back inside.

Sometimes I feel like that.

Like I am in a cave and there is a world out there but I can only see the shadows at the moment.

I'm not even sure why. I think it's because I am trying to look at other people's lives and work out what does constitute a correctly led, happy life. Is it the 9-5? Is it the family and kids? Is it family values and community? Or adventure and exploration, pilgrimage and journeys to the unknown?

I think I want a bit of it all. And that's pretty hard to achieve. In the meantime, I keep inspecting other people and what they do in the hope I will be inspired or find the answers to what I want.

It's a bit like window dressing. Just that I still don't know if it's the camping shop and hiking boots or Prada that does it for me.

Does Prada make wellies?

1 comment:

Emma said...

So I've been thinking about elephants and caves, and wondering whether maybe the answers to balance and contentedness (as everlasting happiness is unattainable, IMO) come more from action than observation and reflection?

I heard an inspirational talk this week, from a guy who lost both hands and both feet on Mont Blanc. And by inspirational talk, I mean that is what it was supposed to be - using his experience to inspire people to do anything they set their dreams on. One of his points was that everytime he worried about something - like how on earth he was ever going to rock climb again with no hands - and was almost ready to give up, well, he tried and it was always OK. And the problems he did have were never the ones he imagined or fretted over. So he was basically saying, just go for it. You have the strength and the ability to do whatever you want.

Which I agree with, but still, and elephant is an elephant. Of course there are some limitations. And somethings you might dream about, you have no control over.

But even so, I agree with his idea that you should still go for things and not worry too much.

I know in your case you are not paralysed by fretting over choices, you feel more like you are still searching for what to set your dream on. So it's not exactly the same. But I would still say, don't worry so much about how to live, or which cave to live in, just live.