Recently, I read something that said “Life is an experiment.” I found that curious. I can see Life being an adventure because – HELLO? It is definitely one of those, but an experiment? So – I decided to let that idea marinate on a back burner until this morning. And now I’m all over it.
How is Life an experiment? I’m sure you’d answer this differently than I will, but here goes. I was an alcoholic and now I’m not because I quit drinking. I can take that sentence in numerous directions, but for the purpose of this post – my next comment is about choices. And I think therein lies the experiment part of Life.
Everyone is confronted with having to make choices on a daily basis. Some choices are rather insignificant and the outcome might be the same either way. BUT – other choices are monumental and the consequences will be monumental – either way. Like, “Do I divorce this guy or WHAT?!”
I had an amazing dream about 25 years ago that I hope to never forget. It involved having to make a very crucial choice.
In the dream, I’m walking down a sidewalk in front of a single story old folks home. The front of the home is lined with flowery bushes as is the sidewalk on both sides. It’s very quiet, pretty and peaceful here and there’s no one else around.
The sidewalk turns into a Y. I decide to take the path to the left to see where it goes. It winds up cutting between two buildings of the old folks home and leads to a manicured and spacious courtyard. I notice that no one is there either. I keep walking down the sidewalk and it opens up a massive open space that lines a beach further down about 100 yards or so.
I continue walking towards the beach when I notice the sound of harmonious music coming from my right It sounds nearly angelic – if such instrumentation exists. I look to my right and see a huge group of Native American Indians sitting cross-legged on the sand playing all sorts of instruments that I’ve never seen before. The music coming from them was so beautiful it nearly made me cry.
I kept walking and stopped when I encountered 7 black men to my right. They were ridiculously tall, they weren’t wearing shirts and they were all bald. The man in the middle was looking down at me while the three men on either sides of him had their heads tilted to the sky with their eyes closed.
I understood that the black man looking at me was there to watch me make a decision. I looked around and noticed the beach in front of me, and to my left was a bar. It was closed, but there were people hanging around it. There were also numerous rows of metal fold-up chairs next to the bar. I noticed that people sat sporadically spaced apart there, too. They didn’t know one another. Even though I didn’t see my mother, I knew she was there somewhere.
I chose to go to the bar. Not to see my mother, but because I wanted alcohol. And ultimately – that is the life choice I made. I chose alcohol over the Life and beauty and freedom that is the sea.
I finally got it right and got sober five months ago, but I’ve yet to discover how 20 years of drinking is going to catch up with me. How would my life be different today had I gone to the beach in that dream? How would my life be different today had I recognized the value of that dream and chose not to drink during my awake life?