It’s senior year of highschool, Saturday morning. I’m bored. An hour on Facebook tells me the day will sprint by if I don’t do something about it. Then, I see a video – DIY Marsh-mellow gun.
A few PVC pipes, strong lungs, and mini marsh-mellows; nothing more to make a Sugar Musket. So, I text some friends. “We’re all playing Marsh-mellow assassin tonight, I’m making the guns. Bring $5 for the materials.”
Dusk fog skirted along between each team for the first 4 v. 4. One by one, my teammates found a sugary grave. 2 v. 2, then 1 v. 1! Myself against one Willis T. – devout christian. God was on his side. Between us, a low, flat fence with marsh-mellows gently bouncing off – whoever charges over is vulnerable. It has been 15 minutes: I’ve seen the horrors of war, lost friend after friend, probably have a splinter. If there is a 10% chance to get this Jesus Loving Dough Boy, I have to try. I charge.
Funny thing about a winter’s dusk in Georgia: dew forms. Dew gives a slippery, completely translucent sheen to white fences. With my eyes focused on Mr. Stay Puffed, I jump with the intensity and height that comes with trust in an immovable, strategically placed hand. It slips immediately. For a moment, I float parallel to the ground like Wile E. Coyote. I do the “Wile. E look down” – there’s a suprise log waiting for me. Yayyy.
My left foot hits first – breaks instantly. Wind knocked out. Knees weak, arms are heavy, the whole 9 mile. Willis runs over, christian principles of charity oozing and gun barrel down. “Are you okay, man?” I take a deep breath and shoot him with a pink marsh-mellow. “Gotcha.”
“A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So, he loses touch with reality. He lives in a world of illusions.”Alan Watts
Bringing ideas together is one of life’s great pleasures. Things use to happen in a day. Much of that kid’s ability to birth reality has been lost. It has been replaced with time thinking, planning, worrying, and convincing myself that it isn’t worth it. That idea isn’t good, that one doesn’t have a real benefit, this one isn’t going to end well, they’re all riddled with faults. Everything feels risky.
It is ridiculous. Breaking my foot is a critical piece of that fantastic, nerdy, nerdy memory. The failure, the pain, the struggle is a part of the story. “Like everything else, [thinking] is good in moderation. A good servant but a bad master.” Overthinking magnifies risk aversion – I’m working to shift the metric from Success v. Failure to Complete v. Incomplete. Failure is part of the deal, but making it happen at all: that’s on us.
This post was inspired by this beautifully done video by some British guy living in LA. It’s cool that we can share ideas like that. You never know who might hear them.
Thanks for taking a sip,