Boarding the train to Glastonbury made me think of the movie “Sliding Doors.” In the movie, different realities occur as doors of a train slide open and closed. Entirely different lives of the same characters unfold based on the door selected and the time at which each character passed through. In my mind, I sometimes engage in some sliding door imagination, envisioning what my life would be like had I chosen different doors. One tends to cheat at this game, imagining that one would end with say, the same children, only later on; or perhaps the same circle of friends, but then, that’s not quite true, or possible, is it?
For many years my gameplaying went something like this: If I had just been strong enough to stand up for myself, I would have become a “real artist.” I would be teaching in a classroom every day, and years of study would have created within me a discipline for the daily work of an artist—daily creative work being in no way my forte at the present. My life would have been full of travel, color, eccentricity, and passion. As I ponder this thought, nurturing the deep pain that it brings (has always brought), I notice the train is following the banks of a river.
As we know, water is a powerful force, shaping the very face of our world. But it is also a meek force at times, one that seeks the easy way, the way most traveled, the lowest points in any surface, where it settles and waits, reflecting the sky above in its still surface. In my younger years, this was my movement: the path of least resistance, following the way set for me, eventually running to ground, settling and reflecting a life created for me by someone else.
As a lake or small pond can do, I settled within my boundaries, satisfied. As water does, I birthed life. Two times, in fact; both delivered in a gush of the primordial stuff, and then I lay still again, waiting. In time, through a process quite mysterious—osmosis, absorption, evaporation, cloud seeding?—(I don’t recall the transformation of matter lectures very clearly)—I once again became forceful, cataclysmic, and I ripped through the landscape destroying many things in my path and forging a new channel in the earth. No longer a pool, a puddle, a still well of liquid, I joined once again with the river—she of many tributaries, she of the rapids, the slow eddy, the small waterfall, the deep and unpredictable currents.
So I find myself, now, in this riverbed, this bed of color, unpredictability, freedom, art, and wildness, and I see that moving like water has brought me here, brought me to a place of passion and, yes, instruction. My life is instructive, its course illustrative of one thing—motion, in any direction, brings change. I have movement, flow, power. And as I step off this train, I realize that all doors lead to me.