Friday, December 20, 2013

For all those creating, inventing, re-inventing anything under the sun, including themselves.

I was re-reading Booker prize-winning author Ben Okri's 'Astonishing the Gods' the other day and came across a section that seems appropriate for people brave and curious enough to blaze their own trail and yet human enough to experience moments of short-lived aloneness and apprehensions. The symbolism embedded in his words is as delicate as it is powerful that I feel compelled to share it:

The bridge, completely suspended in the air, held up by nothing that he could see, was a dazzling construct, composed entirely of mist...made of light, of air, of feelings...
'What holds up the bridge?' he asked his guide.
'Only the person crossing it,' came the reply.
'You mean that if I am to cross the bridge I must at the same time hold it up, keep it suspended?'
'But how can I do both at the same time?'
'If you want to cross over you must. There is no other way.'
'But if I am heavy will the bridge bear me?'
'If you can bear yourself, the bridge too can bear you.'
'And I must cross this bridge?'
'Yes, you must cross the bridge.'
'And if I do not cross?'
'I assure you, it is better to try to cross that bridge and fail, than not to try at all.'
When he did look back,...he found himself at the end of the most magnificent bridge...He thought of it as the bridge of self-discovery...When he looked back, he was astonished to find that the bridge had disappeared...[H]e had somehow managed to walk across emptiness... 
[T]ouched with a magical humility, he realised the nature of the small miracle he had enacted in his life.

-- Excerpted with awe and care from 'Astonishing the Gods' by Ben Okri and published by Little, Brown & Company (1995).