I’m reading Paul Auster’s new novel 4321. You follow the protagonist, Archie, through four different versions of his life. It’s brilliant. It’s long. It makes you think about the various twists and turns, the failures, the recoveries and how life has a habit of challenging you to your limits. It’s four novels and over 1,000 pages. At page 735 he quotes John Cage from his lecture on Silence, “the world is teeming; anything is possible”.
It’s true. The trouble is will you let it? I struggle with this all the time. Monday was New Year’s Day and I didn’t want to let go of everything that was relaxing and quiet. Tuesday was the first day back to work. At 8:30 am I get my first call. Are you available? Well yes. We have this bid, it’s due in next week…
On days 1 and 2 I’m writing a bid response and carrying out the various administration that goes with the work – creating a bid team, sorting out the legal and commercial aspects getting approvals completed. The work is going well, the bid team are getting stuff done and we’ve had some fantastic news along the way. And now it’s day 3 and I have food poisoning. I don’t know what tomorrow will hold.
I want this excitement. Then I find it overwhelming. Then I want security in repetition. Then I get bored. Going with the flow is not something that comes naturally to me. Yet I like the idea that anything is possible.
I’m from Trail, Canada. It’s a tiny town in British Columbia; it’s famous for Zinc and it’s very famous neighbouring town Rossland with the skill hill Red Mountain. Every year I go back. Every year I stand at the top of the mountain and I take in the view. On a clear day you see mountains everywhere. The noises are clearly discernible: birds, chairlift, laughter. It’s a challenging ski hill with lots of terrain and it’s not so crowded. On a quiet day you feel like you have the whole mountain to yourself. The possibilities feel enjoyably endless rather than intimidating.
Whilst I’m still not altogether comfortable with going with the flow. I try and think about being at the top of the mountain and enjoying the view.