Monday, March 28, 2005

In Praise of Grand Failures

by AJ/Skald

I love mighty failures. Doomed enterprises carry an aroma of grandeur. If we are lucky, we get carried along by a few of these during our lives.

I think of Todd and Lewis? magnificent RV catastrophe. They poured thousands of dollars into the monster, hundreds of hours, and limitless imagination. The beast only made it to Florida. But it, in fact, carried them much farther. That glorious failure was rocket fuel for wanderlust.... which soon propelled Todd to Thailand and the open road.... Lewis to San Francisco. Its still carrying them-- driving their dreams of South America and a life full of magic and mystery.

I think of my first trip to India. A gruelling challenge. Dysentery. Four days in the hospital. Collapse. Confusion. Loneliness. Im still spinning. Still moving. Still pushing on to the next new experience..... ever onward into the unknown. India, the wonderful failure of that first trip gave birth to my current life.

My best relationships... the freaky, passionate, outrageous, quantum leaps... have all been doomed. Doomed but radiant.

There is something insipid about the word //success//. I think of a friend from high school. He has a stable career. Hes moved up the ladder into middle management. He has a big house in the suburbs, a child, a wife, two new cars. He has investments and money in the bank. But he has lived the same day, day after day, for the last twenty years. Is this success?

Is life a plodding progression, or an exuberant dance?

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