Friday, May 20, 2011

Are You Being Too Hard on International House of Pancakes?

There are leaps of faith, leaps of logic, and leaps of wonder, all of which conflate when we leap onto the page.  Most leaps have safety nets of some sort and you suppose there are safety nets for leaps onto the page as well, but nothing good can come from any of them.

Safety in thinking, wonderment, and writing produces results as flat and unappetizing as hamburgers in a truck stop cafe or, indeed, pancakes as leaden and uninspiring as those served at the International House of Pancakes.

You equate safety in such areas--including pancakes--with youthful desire to conform to adult standards long enough to understand that acceptance by the adult world is neither safe not satisfying and is itself not unlike hamburgers in truck stop cafes or the International House of Pancakes.  After a brief spell of conformity, youth sees the substrata of hypocrisy and wants to leap away from it, propelled by a magnificent rebellion that can turn into useful momentum.

Equally useful are the leaps into middle age and beyond, each carrying its own characteristic of fear and gloom in the former and crankiness in the latter, bold, sturdy emotions to serve as leavening for the kind of humor and acceptance that must be forged to help us--each in his or her own way--arrive at a comfort zone from which to experience the outrages and joys inherent in life and to distill them into meaningful works of expression.

When we are passive, even the passivity of being indecisive, we are letting the events define us.  When we are active, however much more formidable the events are than we, our definition is forged by the posture with which we strode forth splat to meet the event.

We have the choice of being ourselves in the story that is us, or one of the unnamed victims.

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