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Monday, April 2, 2007

Be careful of the Potholes















Yesterday i was warned by a friend to be careful of the potholes before going for a drive down by the seaside. I don't know why but his comment stuck in my mind and made me start thinking about it. I had wanted to get away from a few things that were troubling my mind for the last few days, and just sitting on an empty beach,staring at the sea, is enough to clear my head of all the cobwebs that occasionally (or quite often if i am to be honest) fill my head and make things a bit difficult to understand.


Sitting on the sand that still had a lot of dampness in it, i watched my children running around the edge of the shore, sometimes going dangerously near the water and my wondering if i had brought an extra pair of shoes with me in the trunk of the car..i doubted if i had but i didn't have the heart to tell them to stop or be careful and so went back to my own thoughts.


There is something so peaceful about being on an empty beach. The smell of the sea is crisp and you can feel it on your nostrils as you inhale in the cool air. Your eyes look right and left and all they can see is the wide open space in front of them, the deep blue of the water and of the sky, and the few boats that are still docked out on the sand. The sun was out yesterday and i could feel it slowly burning on my head and back. It felt as a warm and friendly touch. It was still too early in the year for the sun to feel hot,hostile and unfriendly. Looking around though,i realized that an empty beach shares together with the picture of peacefulness, the image of loneliness as well. You can feel its eager await for the summer and for the hundreds of people to sit themselves on it and enjoy themselves in any possible way.


So i sat there, daydreaming about things and letting my thoughts go here and there. Then it hit me. My friends words about potholes. I started wondering about these potholes that we come across in the streets. Some of them look shallow and painless but when we drive across them,we shudder from the fall. Others look deeper than they really are and though we take extra care not to drive over them quickly, we realize that there was,in fact no need to be so cautious. Then there are the 'suspicious' ones that are covered with water and you cant tell they're pot holes til you drive straight into them and feel your car crash into the hole. Those indeed hurt the most!! Last but not least,lets not forget the instances when were too lazy to avoid these 'traps' on the road and purposefully decide to drive right over them, like were trying to get even with them. What am i trying to say you re probably wondering to yourself. Good question!!


Sitting and analyzing potholes brought to mind the similarity they bare to relationships we have with people specifically. Let me explain before you stop reading this thought. How many times do we try to 'protect' ourselves from people who we think may not be right for us? (avoiding the pothole)How many other times do we get into relationships that seem destructive and are clearly to end up at a dead end from the beginning?(not avoiding the pothole and driving straight through) Lets not forget the instances when we put up our guard so much that in the end, all we accomplish to succeed is nothing even worth mentioning.(being extra careful driving through a pothole that in fact was nothing) And of course, the most most painful of all instances, when we do fall head over heels with someone which later on turns out to be the complete opposite of what we expected,devastating us and everything in the end.(the pothole that seemed harmless but in fact,sent the car to the mechanic)


You know,maybe comparing relationships to potholes is not the most poetic of metaphors that i could have used, but it proves the point. What good is using an abstract idea or concept to describe something more essential if practical contact and understanding cannot be acquired? Potholes are in our everyday life..the same goes for relationships. No two potholes are the same as no two relationships are either. My only doubt now as i write this is this. When he warned me to be careful of the potholes, was it the literal or metaphorical use of the word he was referring to? Good question...

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