The Undiscovered Country

...and jump!
…and jump!

Sometimes you see a film, read a book, notice a picture and it seems to sum up where you are in life at that moment. That happened with me when I saw the opposite picture, the gap jumping person.

I love that the person (male or female, as you wish) is in mid flight. At that stage in their ‘journey’ their momentum can only take them forward, not back. I love that the sun is shining brightly in a clear blue sky with a few light-ish clouds. The very weather seems to be cheering the person on. I love that the chasm beneath and the dangers it signals has not caused them enough fear to stop them jumping. The ‘what if I fall’ scenario hasn’t stopped them making the leap. I love that it’s left to the imagination to decide what lies just out of picture on the right, I wonder what the leaping person sees that gives them the hope and courage to make the jump, what future do they see, hope for, get excited by? I love that you can’t see what they are leaping away from, again it’s left to the imagination to decide what past is being left behind. Maybe the person is on their own personal journey, or maybe there is another person, a partner, a friend, just out of picture waiting to leap into the future as well and they will jump just after the current person lands on the other side. Maybe the person jumping sees someone else in their future and that’s why they’re jumping, maybe they don’t know who it is yet, don’t know who or when or how or why but they’ve decided that to find out they have to make the leap. So many maybe’s, so many scenarios, so much scope for the imagination.

I like this picture because it reminds me of my own journey, it indicates a before and after, a from and to, an away from and a towards. It indicates that sometimes we need to take a run and a jump and leap into the future and that in taking that leap there can be some danger but that knowledge doesn’t stop us taking that leap. We might feel if we don’t get the jump right then there is a yawning chasm below us just ready and waiting to welcome us to its frightening depths. It can also be the case that you can’t take much with you, for to leap that gap you have to be light and able to at least stay in the air long enough to land on the other side. So you can’t always take everything with you, some things are too heavy and would deny you the chance of making it to the other side and so you need to leave it behind. This can be painful but also, at times, necessary.

Trapped in the Chasm!
Trapped in the Chasm!

Of course, if you aren’t careful or aren’t paying attention you can trip and fall into the chasm. You could have a 127 Hours experience (if you’ve seen the film you’ll know). You could slip into the chasm (I think the bloke in the film jumped intentionally into the gap between the rocks but hey, its an imperfect illustration), displace a boulder which then traps you in the gap where you face days of agony and intense self-reflection before resorting to drastic measures, possible hallucinations and the dilemma of how does one go to the bathroom in such a situation…before cutting your arm off using a blunt pen knife and brute strength while gritting your teeth in sheer agony. You can still survive, even armless, like the bloke in the film did. There’s always a bright side… ;-)

In my own journey I feel I am in precisely the place the unidentified person in mid air is in, between the past and the future, in the process of making the leap from the past and into the future. The future I am leaping towards is, I hope, an amazing place, for I had a glimpse, perhaps several glimpses, from the side of the chasm I was on before I leapt and that glimpse gave me the motivation I needed. I saw a possible future and saw that it could be a great future, a hopeful future, a future worth fighting for and worth aiming for and worth taking that run and jump and leaping for and yes, even worth taking the risk of falling for. I have a book on my shelf just now called Untold Story, as yet unread, but it’s what the future is, for all of us, an Untold Story, waiting to be written.

Although I have no doubt that there will still be obstacles on the other side of that chasm, I still want to be there, for the past is the past and the future is the future and though we all take our past with us in various shapes and forms, it will be what we do and where we go now that defines us. Sometimes we still bear the scars of the past but those scars need not define us. We can allow ourselves, must allow ourselves, to be defined not by the past where those scars were formed but by the future where the scars can always remind us that we survived and moved forward and can thrive again.

I love the title of the Star Trek movie, The Undiscovered Country. That’s where I’m going, in a very real sense it’s where we all go every single day because every single day we’ve never been this way before. But sometimes you come out of periods of anxiety, of burdens, of times and places that have served their purpose and it’s time to move on again. You head into pastures new with new plans, new hopes, a new direction. Maybe it’s a change of job, maybe it’s an addition to the family (planned or unplanned), maybe it’s the break up of a relationship and the both frightening and exciting move forwards from it, maybe it’s facing news of an illness (yours or someone else’s), maybe it’s a chance to pursue your dreams that you’ve been waiting for, longing for and working towards for months or years, maybe it’s breaking free from a phobia. Wherever and whatever it is, the undiscovered country beyond that chasm is a place I want to be.

Here’s to the amazing place across the chasm.

After three…leap!

Thanks for reading 🙂


Be nice, be contrary, but don't be rude :-)

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