Lately, I’ve been on what one might call a ride, starting a new job and getting used to a new routine. I’ve had to make decisions and conscious choices to change certain things going on in my life, and change is always something that brings the risk of harm or loss or disappointment.

In a serendiptous dovetailing, I’ve also had two or three recent conversations with friends about fear and how much control over our lives we should surrender to be free of it. Sure, there’s a lot of bad news out there and it can be very confronting when we’re bombarded by news presenters and politicians and even advertisers playing to and preying on our insecurities, trying to worm their way into the darkest recesses of our hearts and minds, but something I always try to remember is that most of the time, most of the world and most of the people in it are wonderful, fun and good to be engaged with.

The next stop at The Carnival is ….

 

The Rollercoaster

 

First, of course, you’re sitting dumb
Waiting for the ride to start.
You know exactly what’s to come
Yet still the thrill quickens your heart.
You kid yourself you’re in command.
You’ve done this more than once before.
You scoff just like a seasoned hand;
As if you could be scared once more.
But deep inside you know you’re bluffing
And all your bluster comes to nothing.
You’re quivering down in your stuffing.
You give yourself a mental cuffing.

The slow draw up the starting climb:
That creaking noise, that awful shudder
Always seems to lengthen time;
Each second seems to hold ten others.
You take the chance to look abroad
Before the ride begins for real.
You don’t know anyone aboard,
But you mark the ones who’ll squeal.
You tell yourself the guy behind
Is probably gonna start to whine,
And that lady down the line
Looks like she’s gonna be just fine

The brakes release, you start to plummet
What a feels a mile down from the summit.
Your stomach asks for leave to vomit
Your head feels like a searing comet
And if downward is not enough
You’re also moving sideways. Rough
And bouncing left, the curve is tough
Then upside down, who makes this stuff?
You ride through screams from those ahead.
Inertia makes your body lead.
The blood goes rushing to your head
And then back out as you are sped
And rolled and rattled, shaken, spun.
Now you’re staring at the sun
And now your upside down, what fun!
Before you know it the ride is done

The carriage grinds along the track
Delivering your body back
To where it was not long ago.
You’re tingling from head to toe
And it seems wisest to walk slow.
Deep inside your heart you know
The danger of the ride was nil.
It was a superficial thrill;
A pretence of facing proper danger
A sham of sorts, an unbacked wager.

But isn’t that what life’s about,
The way we’ve made this world of ours?
We shut the things that harm us out
And then we miss the scary hours.
We think its challenges we face
We tell ourselves we’re taking risks
From the comfort of our living space
Surrounded by our data disks.
Guess what? The real world’s just outside,
A place of chance, a place of harm,
But like the rollercoaster ride
The fear is what provides the charm.
Don’t be scared, but do be cautious
And take the step outside your door
Don’t stop because you’re feeling nauseous
There’s wonders yet left to explore.

© Darryn Roberts 2014

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