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Equilibrium

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posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 03:33 PM
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Angelo never felt quite right …

He was a strong young man, bright, passionate, yet growing up he always felt out of place amongst his piers. He felt a passing tourist in this world rather one of its residents. He wasn't distraught about this fact, a little perplexed perhaps, slightly uncomfortable, but not distraught. In fact he found rather pleasantly dull and uneventful, though he did not spent much of his time pondering it.

The only aspect of his life he found vexing at the age of fifteen was his father's persistent insistence that he should decide what to do with his life. In the 1950's, in this small Sicilian town, such was the norm and custom. After all, all his friends were already committed to a craft or profession that would occupy and provide for them. This, his father would remind him daily.

And such was once more the conversation, rather the soliloquy, that was taking place on a summer Saturday night as Angelo and his father walked to the festivities. The touring circus was in town and that was a wonder to behold, a grand local event anticipated every year by all, including Angelo.

They sat down, the lights dimmed, the show began.

It was funny, it was exciting, it was exotic, and magical, it was all that was expected, until …

Until …

The lights went dark, the music stopped, a shuffle ensued, strange noises and whispers, and then … the lights!

Two masts, a rope in between, and a man, with a balancing beam.

Angelo had seen this before, nothing particularly new about a tightrope walker … yet somehow something was different this time. The lack of a safety net was observed yet it is not what captured his attention. But something did, almost instinctively, and a sentiment was triggered that he could not yet describe.

As the act began Angelo was mesmerized by it. Something about the balance of the man, about his grace, his skill, his precision, his indifference to danger, something … he could not take his eyes of every one of his movements or the rope's, Angelo was entranced.

He knew there and then what he wanted to do, he wanted to do THAT!

The rest of the show flew by as if it took a second and Angelo took no notice of it. A million thoughts in his mind at once and his heart bursting with excitement.

The show ended, he composed himself, and started figuring out how he would tell his father of this decision. What would his father say, he will surely think him crazy, he might even throw him out on the street. But Angelo was determined …

And so it was that night at dinner when Angelo told his father of this ambition, and his father declared him crazy, and his father threw him out on the street.

It must have been midnight when Angelo found himself in the periphery of the circus. The smell of manure and wine indicated as much. He walked around the camp in a daze, smelling the food, watching the sparks of the bonfires, hearing animals and random violins. Faces half made up looked at him with smiles, drunk performers stumbled by him, and all was perfect.

He found himself before a small tent, he walked in, and the tightrope walker stood before him. Angelo sat down, told him of his experience, told him about his father, and with barely enough volume in his voice to cary his words, asked the man if he would take him in as an apprentice. Angelo said he would work for free, he would ask for nothing but a meal a day, he would work unconditionally, he would do anything to one day walk that rope … anything to learn that wondrous craft that he was called to, indeed born for.

The tightrope walker looked at Angelo and said yes.

And so Angelo's destiny began to materialize and Angelo left with the circus that next morning and never looked back.

For the first year of his apprenticeship all Angelo was allowed to do in regards to his education of the craft is walk on a rope on the ground. For a year all Angelo did is learn every fiber of that rope under his feet as if it was as familiar as his own skin. First on a slack rope, then on a rigid one, by the end of the year he knew every bump and twist of the rope and walking on it was as natural as pacing the ordinary ground.

On the second year the exact same thing happened, but with the rope now a foot off of the ground and the beam in his hands. Angelo felt the slack, learned to balance himself, compensate for the rope's elasticity. And by the end of year two, after tortuous repetition and practice, Angelo felt on that rope as if he were born on it.

On the third year of his apprenticeship, the rope beneath him having become first nature to him, he learned all the tricks, and all the showmanship. The rope was raised to a hundred feet, the net beneath him, and Angelo became a master at the skill of tightrope walking.

Angelo fell often, he never complained, he was the happiest soul on earth. And after three years happily devoting his entire existence to his craft, he was incredible! He master himself stood in wonderment at Angelo's skill and grace. His master thought Angelo the best tightrope walker he'd ever laid eyes on.

To Angelo the rope was no rope at all. His skill and comfort upon it was such that the rope might as well been a bridge.

And so the night of his debut came.

The lights went dark, the music stopped, a shuffle ensued, strange noises and whispers, and then … the lights!

And Angelo stood where he once gazed, ready to take the first step.

He stood there confidently, for the rope was his home, his skill was beyond doubt, his talents second to none.

He looked down, he saw that there was no net, and thought of the peril. His mind suddenly aware of consequences and his heart filled with fear. He tried to shake it off, after all there's no difference between a foot and one hundred feet to the feeling of the rope. And his skill was not an issue … he could do this as he had done it thousands of times before.

Sensing the rising anticipation of the crowd, and with these thoughts filling his mind, Angelo took his first step upon the rope …

As Angelo fell to the ground to die, and as he flew through the air for what seemed like hours, he wondered how this happened to him … he wondered how he let his mind create the very fear that was about to kill him, and sadness overtook him in his wonderment of how and why he allowed this of himself.

I wonder too ...




posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:02 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Wow. I didn't expect the ending. It's like being hit by a baseball bat while turning a corner on your way to the market, whistling and with your hands in your pockets.
One of my favourite people is Philippe Petit, so I particularly enjoyed the theme of your story. As for the lesson behind it, it is so easily learned and so quickly forgotten. Thanks for reminding us.
Great stuff.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by jeanvaljean
 


Thank you ... it's very kind of you to say.

The story has been bouncing in the noggin' for a while and I decided to finally put it on digital paper today.

I'm glad you enjoyed it.



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Its a shame that happened yes, but fear and what it does in one moment is the crux of the story. Beautifully written

Thx Sd



posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by zazzafrazz
 


You're most welcome.


Life is much like a circus ... clowns to the left, jokers to the right ...

There's nothing extraordinary or miraculous enough in this universe that, left to its own devices and given enough time, the mind will not rationalize into fear.

So it goes ...


[edit on 28 Jul 2010 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 11:19 AM
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well, SD - I've read this a couple of times now

still sad - guess you hit a nerve

that's exactly what a story should do

life ends without fanfare on the circus floor...

I know that's not your main message - but that part really does it for me

still - you're absolutely right about fear

so, what do we do about it?

:-)



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis

so, what do we do about it?


Stop it!


Living in the present moment as opposed to the mind spending all of it dwelling in past and future.

No need for more Fallen Angelos.


[edit on 29 Jul 2010 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Bob's the best



No need for more Fallen Angelos.


I dunno - I'm pretty clumsy

:-)



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Fallen Angelos

:-)

nice



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 01:17 PM
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You're quite a storyteller. Your tale sparkles through its cadence and simplicity that proves to be both poignant and thought-provoking. It's quite a parable.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by maria_stardust
 


Aww ... you're very sweet to say so, thank you!

I have to confess I know nothing of formal literary structure or writing composition ... I just wrote it as it came, spellchecked it, and posted it.

Probably would have messed it up if I thought about it.

Yippie ... it works!



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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I must also say, it was a brilliant read! You wrote with great sophistication, I didn't expect the ending and it left me thinking, hell I bet it left most of us thinking how we can stop that in our own lives. Sometimes, not thinking about something leads to amazing results...and that's clearly shown through your writing. Can't wait for more SD.


 
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posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:45 PM
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Bravo!

This perhaps proves that the creative spark is one that requires no prerequisite structure imposed upon it. I would expect that were you to sit down and rewrite the story without referencing the original, it could not be captured with the same eloquent evolution of plot line and climax.

This story is enhanced by its concise brevity and the forceful impact (no pun intended
) of its ending. Were I to presume the role of editor I would question the final line "I wonder too..." Not meaning to imply that it was a deficiency, but to inquire as to the author's inquiry itself.

I look forward to seeing more of your excellent work.

5 stars and a cheroot for you!



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by Maxmars
Were I to presume the role of editor I would question the final line "I wonder too..." Not meaning to imply that it was a deficiency, but to inquire as to the author's inquiry itself.


Note to self ... avoid using self as framing device at the last.


Seriously though, thank you so much for what you said.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 11:10 PM
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Beautifully written, and it had me glancing back on my own life to notice times I might have done this to myself, and also some reflection on caution and resisting this in the future.


I initially considered it as self-sabotage, but it's more than that. A paralyzing fear can for all purposes, end what could have been a good life.

.....Maybe I'll think of Angelo sometimes.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 12:00 PM
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Awesome story SD, the ending also surprised me, sad that we are living in an era of fear, I for one am not buying into it..looking forward to your next story, love your talent for getting across important points.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by BlackPoison94 & ladyinwaiting & Aquarius1
 


Thank you all so much ... if you guys keep flattering/humoring meh I might decide to write more.

I do great Vogon poetry.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 03:52 PM
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Vogon Poetry is described as "the third worst poetry in the Universe". The main example used in the story is a short piece composed by Jeltz, which roughly emulates nonsense verse in style (example below). The story relates that listening to it is an experience similar to torture as demonstrated when Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are forced to listen to the poetry (and say how much they liked it) prior to being thrown out of an airlock.


"Oh freddled gruntbuggly/thy micturations are to me/As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.

Groop I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes. And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,

Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't!"

From Wikipedia



[edit on 7/31/2010 by ladyinwaiting]



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 08:22 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


Perhaps it is best to avoid Vogon poetry after all.


However I have started working on a new story ... mostly due to everyone's kind responses and encouragement on this thread.

So thank you.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 09:05 AM
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Excellent moral, I love this story. It captures a philosophy we should all strive to, living in the present, with no fear.



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