Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Possibility of Failure

(Photo credit, John A. Byers, my son. Subject: my grandchildren who are the essence of joie de vivre)
My friend Jack R. flew small planes in Wyoming. He kept reading the stats for small plane crashes and it finally got to him. He knew that statistically, his number's gonna come up. Jack doesn't fly planes anymore. He drives. Maybe he would have crashed; I don't know. Who really knows?
And maybe the pretty girl will say no when you ask her to dance. Maybe the dog will bite and the roller coaster will careen right off the tracks and we'll be left lonely and dog-bitten, and... dead.
Failure is a possibility. It lurks around every corner. Failure is 'the valley of the shadow of death' that David walked through...it was there he learned that 'your rod, and your staff, they comfort me.'
Without the possibility of failure, life (and stories, you writers) is drab, lackluster, nondescript. Nothing is ventured. The princesses remain hidden away in the tower, the shelter dog is euthanized because we think he may be part pit-bull, and we never have a parade; there's a 50% chance of rain, you know.  But isn't the possibility of failure, both in real life and stories, the juxtaposition of failure against the hope of success beyond one's wildest dreams, good fortune, love, and fame..is not this where the joie de vivre of life resides?
Are we really going to keep riding our tricycles, knees knocking against the handlebars, all hunched over and fearful of tipping over, taking only wide corners and staying safely on the sidewalk?
NO! Get on that bike and take your spills! Isn't that precisely why you ride it? It's tipsy, it's turvy, it's exhilarating! Take your feet off the pedals, coast a bit and feel the wind against your cheeks.
This, my friend is how we lost our youthfulness. It happened when we stopped jumping into Lake Whatcom because it's cold and gives us goose bumps, when we stopped asking pretty girls to dance; it happened...when we stopped flying. 
My story, I mean, my novel-- and all of it's quirky characters, if I write it well enough, will have many incidents where failure looms around the corner. 

 So will my story, I mean, my life.


Rebecca said...

Write ON!

Debora said...

Indeed Rebecca!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well said! The threat of failure may try to cripple us, but no one can ever succeed without trying.

Debora said...

Precisely, Susan! Some of us fear failure, and some fear success. They are two sides of one coin.

Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes. Failure in my book (and I am sadly sometimes guilty) is refusing to try.
Great post - thank you.

Myrna R. said...

You're so right Debora. Fear of failure stops life from happening, making us stagnant and 'old'. Living deeply means taking risks. Then our story has depth, quality, movement, and all those things that go into a well lived life.
You make your point so nicely Debora. It sounds like your book will make for an exciting read.

Thanks so much for your kind words on my blog. I went through the same thing not too long ago with my mother, That's why I recognize that shadow that lurks over mother-in-laws bed. But death is one risk, none of us can avoid.

Take care Debora.

Debora said...

Elephant's Child, I think we're all guilty of not trying. In my younger years I could have been the poster child for timidity...it takes effort to change.

Myrna, I'm just so sad that you are going through this; but after losing my parents, grandparents and 3 siblings, I know it's part of the order of things and that we learn as much from watching someone die as we do when we watch them live...perhaps more. Take care of yourself through this process. Do nice things for yourself and let others help you.

Bookie said...

Truly wonderful post...and it makes me want to air up bike tires again. Heat and old age are making me fearful...maybe I should try again!

Debora said...

You so should, Bookie! Can you just imagine all of us menopausal, post-menopausal gals out riding around the park and flying kites. Maybe cannonballing into the pool...who knows what havoc we could wreak!


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