Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Making Up the Mind
Mountians vs Mole Hills and a Bird in the Hand

As I was hiking along a trail in Jasper, I saw a small creature floundering in the dust ahead of me. As I neared, it turned out to be a baby bird that must’ve fallen from its nest. I managed to corral the wee critter in my mitts – he hardly tried to escape (most likely paralysed with fear), just sat, panting with its bright yellow beak open to its capacity.

Trees lined the trail as I looked to see if the nest might be visible – talk about trying to see the forest through the trees! Fortunately, there were two small birds making a heck of a racket, and I noticed that one had a worm dangling from its beak. No nest was visible from the ground, so I placed the small fellow in the high grass at the base of the tree and left him with my best wishes for survival.

I know that it sounds completely cheesy, but the whole gravity of this little creature’s predicament resonated with me as far as life and risks go. I transposed this in a fragmentised way to the email I was expecting from the school where I interviewed for a teaching position (see previous entry). I knew, that if I was offered the position, my biggest decision would not be whether or not I wanted to take the opportunity, but rather, whether I could overcome abandoning the job security of a permanent job with the federal government for a probationary contract with the local school board. Issues of leaving my comfort zone percolated through my thoughts, coupled with growing old working in a maximum security prison where the Offenders are fed by a steady supply of nasty youth. The old clichés of the only thing remaining the same is change and fears of fear itself as a barricade to progress ran in circles through my mind like my Golden Retriever chasing her tail (our Border Collie- Shepherd cross is far to articulate to do such things).

Arriving back and checking my email did in fact present me with a definite decision to be made. Opting for passion above paranoia, I have decided to take the plunge and have accepted the teaching position. I feel really good about this decision and know that my wife will be happy not having me working shift work in such a dangerous milieu. I must say that I feel a sense of having to regain a notion of “self”, no longer being a Correctional Officer (which is great at cocktail parties when it comes to engaging conversation!). I will miss my comrades at the prison – there is a definite bond that forms between people when you weigh through danger, blood and chaos together – but I am ready for this next leg of my journey through life.

Life is beautiful.

Photos: Bird in the hand, walking the trail + a few mountain goats we met along the way


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