I am finding in an increasingly alarming manner that I take things for granted. I tend to wake up every day in fear of the morning and the ways in which it will garner a meaning of success in the daily struggle. I fret over the pettiness of a free cup of coffee not being made the way I want it (straight black, no cream or sugar). I forget the importance of thanking those around me for being around me at all.
As a college student, I find that I take these things even more for granted than I would in other walks of life. However, I was inclined to examine my ignorance recently thanks to my Creative Non-Fiction (Liberal Arts college has its ups and downs; this class is the former) professor and a specific assignment.
We were told to bring in what was being defined as an “effective sentence,” meaning a sentence that would make a statement and provide impact through its use of diction, syntax, etc. If I spent all day in the jargon and English major-ness of it all, I wouldn’t ever get to my point.
Naturally, I looked to Dave for such a sentence. My initial inclination was to look in his musical works, but I felt that poetic lyrics were not the way to go at this point. So, I turned to quotes.
Luckily enough, I happened upon a line that I assume came from an interview (the source, in the end, didn’t matter; it was the impact that was crucial):
“I’m familiar with that feeling of silence that comes with a very imminent catastrophe, when you know you have absolutely no control over a situation.”
It immediately made me think of Dave talking about "So Damn Lucky". It’s the moment that he describes as when you’re tripping and falling and about to hit your face and can’t do anything about it, but you know that it’s about to happen and are practically seeing it in slow motion (paraphrasing, of course).
For a good portion of this school year—and for the past couple of years—I have felt this way. I have felt as if I’m watching everything happen to me in slow motion, unable to change the “imminent catastrophe” of the situation,” and unable to break the silence of my ignorance.
So, why am I unable to change these things? Why am I able to recognize them and not find a way to fix them? Why do I have to sit in silence, wait for the ball to drop, create the catastrophe, and then go on as if nothing has happened?
I would like to chalk it up to being human; to an inability to overcome the simplicity of human nature (CS Lewis defines this as what we ought to do, as opposed to what we actually do).
But, I have given up on making excuses. I have given up on claiming inability. I have given up on the old me.
So, much like Dave, I am breaking the silence of the moment in the imminent catastrophe and finding a way to change things. I am beginning a new chapter. I am making the best of what’s around and giving myself the chance to realize just how damn lucky I truly am. I am done falling. I’m ready to fly.
Perry Ritter—musician, passionist, dreamer, college student