It’s a strange word.
An ending to that which we aspire to.
A deep longing for that which we feel… will somehow give our life meaning.
Not a long term plan or a set of specific goals. No lines drawn out between two points. Just a desire for the end result.
I don’t really have any aspirations. I strive not for greatness, or power, or notoriety. I put no value in fame or fortune or expensive clinical wisdom. I do however desire a certain end result to this journey we have all found ourselves on. But you see, I look forward to the journey just as much as the destination. Which makes it more of a mental gauntlet race than an aspiration.
Every step I take along the road leaves behind a footprint.
Every step I take in this life is a step I take forward, or even better… A step I have not yet taken.
I deem an aspiration of transcendence might be my only aspiration.
After all that’s the ultimate goal now isn’t it?
When I look back on my life, I admit I once had aspirations. Just as any young child might have had.
I remember how much I desired to be a writer. I aspired to be the next Rod Sterling. For many reasons but mostly because… well he was fucking Rod Sterling!
Plus I had a very deep passion for writing. I should have left my aspirations behind and actually set forth goals and a plan. But what did I know. I was just a kid.
As life usually does… it had plans for me all of its own.
Before I knew what was happening, the wheels were set in motion. All I could do was find something solid to hold on to… and try my best not to fall off.
I suppose there are three types of people in this world. Those who grew up in such a structured environment that never got on the ride to begin with. (They always figured they could get on later in life, but few ever do. They may end up owning parts of the ride but never really get the chance actually enjoy it).
There were those who held on for dear life (like me) and just prayed to God that when it all came crashing down there would be a soft place for them to fall.
And then there were those who just let go. Who never really got a chance to experience the beauty of it all. Whose journey was not an “E” ticket admission onto Mr.Toad’s wild ride, but instead an “A” ticket… Good only to observe from the the wobbly bench just outside the gate. (and in most cases were never heard from again).
I was wild eyed and crazy and curious as to where the tracks would lead me. So I lived in the very moment of every minute in time. When life dipped I held my hands up high and screamed as loud as I possibly could.
When it slowed down to a snails crawl and climbed high into the clouds, I relished in the anticipation. Whether up or down or caught in a cork screw… I have not wasted a single second.
I am in the home stretch now though. I turn 50 this year. 50! I would be lying if I said that the weight of mortality was still light enough to fit in the front pocket of my shirt. (If I wore shirts with pockets).
I am a little more grounded and a lot more rounded… maybe a little less hair and a lot less reckless. Sometimes I think that while I was sleeping someone put me on one of those kiddie coaster rides. Because I don’t remember it going this slow before. But I guess that’s a good thing. These are the years that are most important after all.
These years are the shared years. These are the years I get to see my children grow. I get to see them emerge from childhood into adulthood. I get to bare witness to that which follows us… and become the next us.
I only have one job left to do at this point, and that’s to teach them how to keep from falling off. To show them how to lift their hands into the air and scream at the top of their lungs.
Aspirations… they are a nice thought. Goals might be better. Plans are a nifty idea. You don’t always have to follow the rules and don’t be afraid to make a detour along the way. And don’t get so caught up in your aspirations that you forget to live in the moment.
This life is a gift for us to enjoy after all. It’s a journey that builds the blocks to appreciation. Transcendence would be meaningless without it.
What the hell is transcendence you ask? Well it’s your own personal belief. It’s faith in that belief. It’s the way you see this whole thing playing out in the end.
Whether its paradise on Earth or eternal life in Heaven. Whether it’s a hundred festive virgins, the keys to the universe or a return to Eden. (Just don’t eat the damn apple this time okay)… Even if it’s nothing at all but darkness. You still need death to get you there.
Whatever it is you believe in, and whether or not anyone else believes in the same things or not. One thing we can be sure of, there will be an end. Transcendence is what occurs in that final moment.
So have aspirations of a good transcendence, and in the mean time… enjoy the ride will ya. It’s a good one.
(just keep your hand and arms inside the car at all times. You might not need them where you are going, but why take any chances).