Guil: "We've been caught up. Your smallest action sets off another somewhere else, and is set off by it. Keep an eye open, an ear cocked. Tread warily, follow instructions. We'll be all right."
Rose: "For how long?"
Guil: "Till events have played themselves out. There's a logic at work -- it's all done for you, don't worry. Enjoy it. Relax. To be taken in hand and led, like being a child again, even without the innocence..."
- Tom Stoppard: Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
Sometimes life throws a live wire in your path, crackling in the roadway where the cable has snapped. It lashes like a blind snake at whatever is nearby: misdirected, muscular, and very dangerous on its remaining tether. It could lash at you, dear reader, or those you love, or whatever random thing is handy and in range.
My children could tell you, from their public safety classes at school - that old stop, drop and roll - what you must do.
- Stay grounded.
- Stay in the car (unless it's on fire).
- Put your trust in snakecharming linemen to tame its fury and send the serpent back into its container where it belongs.
"Keep an eye open, an ear cocked. Tread warily, follow instructions. We'll be all right."
Unless, that is...
- the car is no sanctuary.
- help will not arrive in time.
- you have to risk depending on yourself alone, or others must depend on you.
It turns out there still are things you should do to stay grounded when the odds are long and the options short.
- Keep both feet on the ground.
- Hop beyond the strike range of the serpent, little rabbit.
- Shuffle away from those mortal coils.
The lines are not down everywhere. There will be other ways to go forward beside the one that is blocked.
I once drove through a city after a massive microburst had leveled its power lines and shredded its trees. It took me hours to get outside the devastation. But during the storm, that 10 minutes of screaming midnight terror when it all came down on our heads, all we could do was ride it out where we were. Then shuffle outside, away from the live wires, to get our bearings and do whatever needed to be done.
"Tread warily, Follow instructions. We'll be all right."