Monday, January 17, 2011

A vixen named Clarity

She is one of those words in bold print on the pages of your life story. Clarity. It means having the quality of being certain or definite. Clear. Her only purpose, as it relates to how we process the world around us, is to convey that this -- whatever this is -- is important.

Routine becomes vague; the path familiar; the pace: machine-like and automatic; the challenges many; the needs plenty. Each a mind-numbing blend of details, niceties, particulars, minutiae, and noise.

Clarity is a not-so-gentle speed-bump as you travel in the blight of trivial consciousness, sleepwalking through life, asleep at the wheel.

She's a near miss with that innocent deer jumping in front of the car. Lord knows why the deer was up at 2:00 AM, roaming the shadows so close to the highway. Maybe it was having a bad night, or making a break for it ahead of hunting season, chasing a dream to be a movie star someday, or wandering the moonlit landscape in search of its true love. It matters only to the deer. What matters to you, on the other hand, is you nearly just crapped yourself into cardiac arrest. Thank you, Clarity.

"What the HELL!?" Slowing down, you scour the darkness for Bambi. Satisfied it's gone, and was alone, you catch your breath and speed up again, cautiously, all the while shaken and very much wide awake now. "I hate you, Clarity."

"Good, you survived," she giggles. "Ya know... if you insist on driving at this absurd hour then you won't mind if I stimulate you a bit. You're welcome, by the way. There's a rest stop just up ahead (not that I recommend stopping at an isolated rest stop in the middle of the night). Fool."

Clarity is like that. She's not a lady, not proper, not polite, not considerate, or even kind. She hangs around and keeps to herself, mostly; but strikes in an instant to demand your attention. Right now. Now like a lapful of warm vomit. And still, other times, miraculously, she has your back, coming to your defense in the nick of time. "I love you, Clarity."

You see, good or bad, timing is her calling card.

She can be small, like the first whiff of sour milk; realizing that your fly has been open all morning; a cold swimming pool; burning yourself while cooking; a high five; a beautiful woman; adorable puppies; a good meal; a handshake; or even a hug. And a lot more.

She can be a medium sized routine buster, like losing your wallet; getting mugged; last games; winning shots; saying yes; taking a chance; taking an English class; moving; quitting; victory; or defeat. And even more.

She is mindful of the big things too, like births; deaths; first kisses; honesty; giving up; getting up; believing in God; giving yourself credit; silver anniversaries; broken marriages; long lost friends; close companions; or even intimacy. And others, of course.

She even invites us along as voyeurs into other peoples' tragedy -- where we can feel lucky and sorry at the same time -- like Arizona gunshots seeking out random targets in a crowd; terrorism; war; genocide; violent crimes; domestic abuse; missing children; a burning home; natural disasters; sinking ships; falling planes; exploding shuttles; interstate pileups; financial collapse; and lives lost. All those moments you can’t believe your eyes or ears or convictions.

Shock and confusion is the package Clarity puts on a FedEx truck to that place called the bleeding edge of your very own awareness. "Hearts and Skulls. XOXO. Love, Clarity."

Figure it out. Process it. Use it. This matters.

She may be a vixen, but Clarity is also the very best guide you'll ever have, just tagging along as you fumble your way through a noise filled existence.