Chaos abounds. It breaks apart time. We cannot expect to live forever. We cannot expect to have every hope and dream and wish fulfilled. There are too many variables. There is too much misalignment. If expectation be the triumph of hope over experience, then caught up in the course of experience, one learns to allow for sand castles to be taken too.
Friends find themselves waylaid by vicissitudes. The vagaries of chance and accident and the sadly unexpected beleaguers them. This one has been in the hospital for six weeks now. That one has just suffered atrial-fibrillation. This one has just fallen off a buckling ladder, broken both wrists and an elbow. That one, suffering from undissolved embolisms, paid a second visit to the emergency department. This one... And so it goes. Old age is not for sissies. Yet children also wail from behind closed doors. Chaos attacks any age, in any decade. Chaos can be cruel, inconsiderate, and enervating. It robs. It destroys. We can despair with its relentless erosion of our preferred possibilities. And at times it can test our resilience, repeatedly. Yet not all is bad.
Adam Broadford, relating his ADMISSION, a Story Born of Africa, finds much of his life a turbulent challenge. Chaos envelopes him. But central to his resilient disposition is the perpetual determination not to react, but to respond. That which is cruel and brutal and awful has him determine to be different. That which fragments and breaks apart has him determine to become yet more accommodating, inclusive, integrative. There is always a tomorrow, and each day brings him closer to a time when he will be free to make choices independent of others. Children do not have those choices. But beyond the enclosing walls of secrecy and shame that Adam must countenance, there can be a good influence, if someone, somewhere, sometime, gets to know it.
The great adventurers lost to us, remain lost. Take Sir Robert Broadford. He left Britain and ventured with a small party into the heart of Africa, in the early1800’s, even before David Livingston. Problem is, he was never heard from again. In an age when mounting an expedition to go in search of a lost soul was fiscally, logistically, and materially very different from today’s ease with planes, trains, and automobiles, not to mention telephones and internet, Sir Robert’s life became ‘lost’. What he learned, is gone. But how many people, en route, did he not affect?
Point is, the interior journeys we each make are not always visible to others. The chaos we endure, as the fragmentation of our own ideals gets shattered, can remain concealed unless we succeed (let alone choose,) to bruit our finding abroad. And even then, which of our words do not get misinterpreted, what intentions do not get misconstrued, and what adventures do not find satisfactory conclusion? Yet just by living, itself, we affect others. The net effect, bit for bit in the annals of history, horizontal step for step, hierarchical spiral for spiral, engenders mans’ very progress within the greater chaos that has inveigled us all. We can but plan, and allow the Gods their laugh. It is in our response (as opposed to reaction) that we show conscious evolution. It is in our individual cognizance that we each contribute toward the bell-curve, shuffling it along the mortal coil inherent not only to each of us, but to any Time Period defining a given lifetime.
Adam Broadford stepped out of the box into which he was born. He needed to. Not everyone feels so compelled. But given our burgeoning refugee numbers, and given the dissolution of our old historical traditions and values and practices, it is evident that we, as mankind, are speeding up, comparatively, toward a future that some think they can foresee, that others think might be bright, and yet others feel is more akin toward heading into an abyss. And you? How fare you?