It’s 3am class and I am present and accounted for. As I ponder the process, I love it. There is no straight line to where you are going. From departure to destination, I feel more like I’ve boarded the passenger car on a train, I haven’t seen the face of the conductor, still I trust. I sound like Maya Angelou, “Still I rise!!” No, “Still I trust.” When I walk over train tracks, I am intrigued. I’m not sure if it’s the two forged silver steel rails that seem to disappear in the distance, the spikes driven along the sides to secure them, or the wooded railroad ties. Who laid these? What are the bed of rocks about? Who chose these elements over time, trial and error? The questions come. Through every town and connecting every place, is this Long lay of tracks and nothing can travel on it but a train. Was the train built for the track or the track for the train? Stay focused. It just reminds me of the genius in this world of creativity. You have one person with a desire to travel and someone else mentally designing and constructing an ideal machine to make that dream come.
It only has to make sense to you. Living life seems to be about tying the meaning of all of it together and making it make sense. Every experience is like an isolated puzzle piece. Somehow, over time I have gathered fifty three pieces. Somehow I have to put these different shaped pieces together. Together they make up the bigger picture. The sooner you can see the “big picture”forming, you can then strategically and individually select a puzzle piece of life to add to the overall picture.
I seem to be a better student at this hour. This is also why I love the weekends. There is nothing else competing for my attention. I have the freedom to observe and absorb my surroundings. Learning begets creativity within me. You learn these things “over a period of time.” You ever wondered why it takes so long to be great at something? Nevertheless, You wonder why we still want to be an overnight success?
It’s these words, “over or after a period of time.”
If you observe any field and pay attention to those who are experts in said field, you will find aged people. There are very few young geniuses that cut through. There are always a few phenomenons that break through but not enough to consider it the norm. Everybody else arrives, “Over and after a period of time.”
All of us board and ride the passion gift train.
When we get off this train, we have aged and time has warped kid who tinkered on instruments, into old men who don’t move as fast anymore. As a matter of fact, the craft alone brings its own set of injuries and ailments. There is a price to be paid but it is collected, “Over a period of time.”
There are no one time, lump sum payments. No one in their early twenties can walk around wearing a sign that says, “The game, paid in full.” No, it deducts from your life in increments. When I started writing this morning, I had no idea how this would all fit and I didn’t care, but “after a period of time,” it all comes together. That in itself is a lesson learned,(go ahead and say it) “after a period of time.”
Life, “Over and after a period of time,” reveals things that are other wise hidden and impossible to see with the naked eye. If my train analogy is true, let’s test it. Only after a period of time will you see that everybody that starts with you, won’t finish with you. When you board the train, we desire certain people to take the ride with us and get off with us on the other end. We have visions and dreams of celebrating those moment with certain faces present. What we find is that, “over a period of time,” some who started with us, depart at different stops along the way, for whatever the reason. All we know is, when the train picks back up, they are no longer there. The words, “this far and no more” haunt us. We begin to see vacancies in spaces that were once standing room only.
What about the times when the entire car of your life was absolutely empty? Like me presently, you question everything. Everything is suspect. The train, the direction, the destination, the conductor, the passengers, and even your purpose for getting on this train in the first place.
“After a period of time,” when the sunlight hits the passenger car just right, faces become clear. You realize that no one here truly knows me from my beginning. Many have boarded along my life’s path. Some are taking advantage of a free ride and don’t even know who is funding the ride. It feels like hosting a party in your own home and a visitor is talking crap and enjoying the amenities but has no clue that you are the homeowner and host.
“Over a period of time,” you notice that you are aging. You have been riding this train for a minute. Your hands, hair, teeth, wrinkles, and ability, all declare that, that which once was, is no more. “Over a period of time,” reading requires glasses, lifting requires a back brace, writing and working with your hands, require arthritis medicine, running requires knee surgery, and so on. There is a myth we believe when getting on the train. On stage, I am invincible, able to fly, and possibly honored as a god, but “over and after a period of time,” you realize that rock stars get diabetes, depression, and divorces. When I started, I was a young Mick Jagger but when the train pulls in, I will depart a Keith Richards. You spring aboard with fire and vitality. You leave needing assistance.
“Over and after a period of time,” you question if this is what you really should be doing. We all have a desire to be great at what we do. When the world holds up the performance cards that give us low scores, we question it. “Over and after a period of time,” you recognize that the crowd can be fickle, unsure, and wavering. Don’t waver with the crowd but be true to you.
“Over a period of time,” you narrow down WHAT and WHO is absolutely worth living and dying for. This is a train ride that will end. These tracks are not perpetual or at least for you they aren’t. One of these stops are yours. Which one? You don’t know but rest assure, one of these is specifically for you. Can’t you hear the conductor announcing, “Next stop, Calico City!!” He really said your name. When it’s time to go, you gotta get off the freaking train. You have watched so many people get on and off. At some point, someone is going to watch you dismount!! That seat belongs to someone else.
So many things are to be learned in this life. Some things can only be learned, “Over and After a Period of Time!!”
The next time you cross over train track going anywhere, remember our little talk at 3am. You get on but you get off. Choose wisely. I love you.