Longing for Adventure
Adventure. I am longing for an adventure on par with the kind I like to escape to in my books. I want to journey with Frodo or Maerad for a few days. I want to meet up with a "vegetarian" vampire in a Northwest rainforest. I am wracking my brain to think of the last truly adventurous thing I've done. Yes, yes - embarking on the journey of parenthood is one big adventure. Aside from the initial act of passion, parenthood is not really a throw caution to the wind, to hell with the consequences, now or never sort of adventure. It's more calculated. Every act requires thought, preparation, reflection. Parenthood is less adventure and more marathon. I'm hungry for a fast-twitch muscle, quick reflex, instinctual reaction adventure, and a little great unknown thrown in for good measure. Maybe I should go skydiving.
I bring up skydiving because I met with an old friend of mine a few weeks ago. She and I roomed together in our 20's, those carefree years of budding careers, impulsive decisions, limited responsibility, late nights and melodrama. She went skydiving recently. "Go skydiving!", says one voice in my head. "Are you insane?", cries another. At the risk of sounding bipolar, motherhood has brought out two very distinct voices in my conscious mind. There is the old, impulsive, instant gratification, self-focused voice that likes to assert it's authority when I pass a drive-thru coffee kiosk. Then there is the newer voice in my head. I shouldn't say new. It's always been there, but it's one I didn't like to pay attention to much: the voice of caution.
Safety and caution are now rather important themes, as my 1-year old daughter likes to climb on anything that has a foothold, as my 3-year old son likes to frequently endanger the little climber, and as the parent peer-pressure to get on the swine flu vaccination band-wagon grows. Safety, security, forethought, prudence. I frequently resent that this boy-scout-like inner voice has strengthened in me. I shouldn't resent maturity, wisdom, life experience. After all, this voice often keeps me and those I love from experiencing needless pain. I can't deny the resulting goodness of the voice of caution. I just don't want this voice to blare in my ears the way my i-pod presently is. (I write with my i-pod shuffling on my favorite tunes to block out the ambient noise.) I want to hear the murmurs of dialogue around me calling me to adventure.
There are so many ways to wrap this little rant up. I am not going to go skydiving. I'd hate it. That's not an adventure that appeals to me. I am scheming up a wilderness trip to the Enchantment Lakes, lottery permitting. I am thinking about writing more. A novel? I am thinking about more time with MY Edward Cullen, and the beauty of our love story together. I am praying for great adventures with my children until they launch on their own. In short, I need to acknowledge my thirst for adventure and drink deep. It's almost sacramental. In the act of entering into risk, I often find the Voice, timeless and benevolent, that speaks to me when I am not entirely safe.