Monday, September 20, 2010

the dragons keep.

i went running a few evenings ago.

nine o'clock perhaps.

there i went. making my way through downtown provo. the weather is heavenly this time of year. enough to make a girl giddy just thinking about it.

a light fall breeze made it's way past me as i ran by the old chinese restaurant. i couldn't help but notice the small asian man inside, wiping down tables and closing up for the night. he didn't see me. but i saw him.

the moment passed. my feet carried me onward. it was so brief. so instantaneous.

it left me wondering.

that lovely little restaurant with the red plastered walls. an average man working the evening shift. working, like everyone else.

what was his story?

what was his thing? was his heart, his dream, in that restaurant? or perhaps, in his family? or in some dream he continually pushes aside for the sake of gas bills and car payments? what pushed him forward day by day? what was the token behind that machine?

was it that infamous recipe his grandmother passed down from generation to generation. the one he hoped to share with the world, leaving a small mark of his grandmother's legacy for us all to swallow and savor...

i continued to run. and i came upon the dragon's keep.

your all-star location for comic books of all types and wizard-ish board games. you know, the kind of place that attracts the dungeons and dragons type crowd.

the autumn colored sky was growing darker and though the store appeared to be closed, i noticed a light towards the back and a room full of boys...men...guys, huddled around a long wood table with large board game covering the surface.

mmmgh. this brought me happiness.

i could picutre it now. the intensity behind that card drawn, that unexpected move made. the sudden appearance of three zombies from behind the hidden corridor and the newly discovered sword of truth now carried by the barbarian more than doubling his strength.

yes, i too, once upon a time...fell under the arresting power of hero's quest.

once the game began, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, i could do but finish.

two weeks later
, i came out victorious against the evil lord zargon.

so, was that their thing?

that form of creation? imagination? strategy? the ability to enter into a whimsical world behind the doors of the dragons keep on 9 p.m thursday nights...

i continued on. running to lil' wayne and eminem. apparently i'm kinda white trash when i run.

the street where i would turn was now in eye's distance, and i began to prep myself for the final stretch of my run.

on my left hand side i noticed an attractive looking couple leaving the italian restaurant on the corner...

they weren't saying anything to each other. in fact, it seemed almost cold as the man walked with just enough distance from the woman, giving off an agitated, lingering awkwardness.


once again, in another brief moment i noticed a gold ring on both their fingers and a spark of held-back sadness in the woman's eyes...a tear? maybe.

i pictured their wedding day. i'm sure that sadness was replaced with a glow of excitement and that uncomfortable distance was more of a "never-being-able-to-get-close-enough" pull at the waist. just imaging the emotions of such a day leave me feeling short of breath.

i'm sure it was just a bad night. a sour topic maybe. a simple disagreement.

it's okay.
that's perfectly fine...i reassured myself. maybe it's my people pleasing obsessiveness coming out to play, but i truly hate seeing such uncomfortable scenes.

i wish, oh-how-i-wish, things could always be pure bliss. but life just wouldn't be life that way. so we've got to work through these harder nights. (in case you haven't already guessed, i'm the type that will pace back and forth, making myself sick until i get to talk something over, discuss a solution, or fix whatever it is i have messed up...)

i ran past, knowing things would be alirght. hopefully. yup. they'd be alright.

because really, that couple...those two keep each other ticking. they are home to one another, especially when the days feel lost and uncomfortable.

they sacrifice, because they love. they give, because they are drawn to. they are each others reason...the passion that keeps them going from day to day.

mmmgh, so that's their thing.

i ran harder. almost as if i was running to something. or to someone. maybe to you.

the increasing rate of my heart was inconsequential to me. and the depth of my breathing echoed through layers of my mind like towering canyon walls. i doubt their was a force on earth that could have stopped me during those few moments.

have you ever run, literally run, after someone or something, that you were terrified to loose? it's an intense experience. world changing. mind blowing really.

what is my thing? i questioned. what is my passion? do i know passion?

my mind flashed to the watering eyes and serene soul of the music professor. that intense connection found behind the gracefully stunning mozart composition. the one that left him speechless, and his students...you, in awe. yes, that is passion.

i ran.

images rushed through my mind of a story from a place far away. a story of orange colors upon end, filling the bleakly sketched streets of country that i personally have never been to. a place of oppression. a town square filled with voices fighting against corruption, for their rights. for a vote, a simple vote. a modern day democratic revolution and an opposition that i doubt i will ever experience. a passion that i can only share through story...through words and admiration. yes, this is passion.

i kept running.

memories of story books and baskets of seashells. holding my grandmother's hand as we walked down the beach. home. my safe place. the place i remember as being worry free and heaven-like. grey clouds floating like ships along the horizon and a chill that caused my teeth to chatter. if i close my eyes, i can see it perfectly. smell. taste. breath. a simple, beautiful love behind a trip the ocean side. yes, this is passion.

i ran harder.

remembering that little boy in front of the class, pulling that black gun from his backpack. a shrill scream from the teacher. but he didn't know. he didn't know what he was doing. for him, it was simply show-n-tell. the feeling of confusion and terror that i can feel and re-live if i try hard enough. where is the little boy now? and what is his thing? did he leave the gun behind? please, please little boy...i pray you left the gun behind. let's go home. tomorrow, you can be anything you dream of. tomorrow, any dream you choose can be yours. yes, this is passion.

i ran, almost to the end
...

i have a distant but clear memory of being very small and walking through a pure white, yet-to-be dedicated room. a room that would soon be a room of eternity. a place that i knew i would one day go to...in a time when i was much older and in love. and ready to embrace the sealing power of forever. i remember the scene like it was yesterday. even at such a young age, i knew something was different about that room. and i felt the passion that began with knowing my future would one day hold the promise of forever. yes dear, this is passion.

i stopped running.

so, whether you're a chinese restaurant owner, a regular at the dragon's keep, or a couple just doing your best to make it work...we've all got our "thing".

the "thing" that make us who we are.

that defines us from others. it's what we work and fight for every day. whatever that thing is that brings us such passion...

i love it.

in the words of charles dickens, "cows are my passion. what i have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a swiss farm, and live entirely surrounded by cows and china."

see, we all have our thing.

mmmmgh. good run.

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from keen.