Do You Have Secrets?

Texas Longhorn by Ed Schipul

Texas Longhorn by Ed Schipul

They ask me “do you have secrets” and I just smile. I let them stew for a moment in the silence while I think about one of my favorite quotes.

“We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.” Robert Frost

Yeah, I have secrets. Not just one, two or three but somewhere close to a hundred. Not sure how or why it happened, but I know that it did.

Some of it is just because of how I was raised and some of it is just how it works, life that is.

People have secrets, even those who say they don’t really do. They might not realize it but if you ask the right questions you’ll stumble upon them.

Most of my secrets aren’t really important. You wouldn’t call them important but for the request of another. They are secrets I share.

Perhaps the reason they aren’t important to me is because they aren’t mine. Maybe it is a mischaracterization to lay claim to them. Maybe it is more accurate to provide a different answer.

I don’t really know and I don’t think it matters. I keep them because they are important to the people who asked me to put them in my vault. Those requests come from people I love and hold close to my heart so I treat their secrets like my own.

But the few secrets I call my own are big. They are huge and at times they have made me wonder what I got myself into.

There is one that sits in the middle of the ring that Frost wrote about. It stares at me with eyes that cut through the poker face I try to maintain.

It demands my attention and asks for a declaration of intention. This is not something I can just ignore or forget. It requires more because to pretend it didn’t exist is to dishonor it and that I cannot do.

For a long while I have ignored my gut and the knowledge that one day the secret would break free of the shackles I placed upon it and force me to face it.

I don’t want to say I am afraid of it because fear is a weakness and men don’t like to be weak.

Yet the only way to figure out why it bothers me is to look at it during the daylight hours. The day is coming when I’ll do that and then we’ll find out if what I sense is real and discover if I am going to end up where I always suspected I would be.

Secrets & Questions

Sometimes secrets come with questions, ok most of the time they do but the nature of those questions is contingent upon who is asking them.

Give me an impossible situation and I will tell you how I am going to beat it. I have a plan. What, you say you want to see me fight a Great White Shark? Ok, no problem. First step is to agree that he/she has to fight me on land. It is a small step in equalizing the playing field, but not as large as you might think.

What, you say that it is not fair- sharks can’t breathe on land. Fine, I can’t breathe underwater. Ok, let’s pick a different animal. I’ll fight a gorilla, lion, bear or tiger on land. Snakes, crocodiles, alligators and water buffaloes are eligible for the famous Jack beat down as well.

Blame it on an over developed ego or an imagination that views the world in technicolor- but I just believe that in the end I will win. And that my friends is how I overcome adversity.- The Qualm Before The Storm

The pieces of this giant puzzle we call life are moving and I am doing my best to help push them into the appropriate places.

I suppose the biggest challenge I face is trying to figure out where to push the pieces because in some cases it is harder to tell what direction or move to make.

Unlike a plane or movie theater the aisles in life aren’t lit with a lined of row of glowing white lights pointing the right way to go and the secrets aren’t offering any suggestions either.

Confession: some of this uncertainty makes me a bit uneasy and a little antsy. I’d almost say it scares me but fear isn’t really what I am feeling either.

At the moment I am staring at one of my secrets with the kind of intensity that makes people uncomfortable. Staring hard because I am lost in thought about what to do.

Can’t do nothing and won’t spend much more time thinking because I am not going to let myself suffer from paralysis of analysis. Decisions will be made, action will be taken and then I’ll just roll with whatever comes because that is how it is done.

Ask me what I see now and I’ll tell you it might be influenced by the music I am listening to. It is the Wedding Celebration and Bottle Dance song from the Fiddler On The Roof Soundtrack.

I see people dancing with joy and reckless abandon and I see one of many potential paths.

When the music moves to The Breaking of The Fellowship from Lord Of The Rings the parade of images changes in my mind. Now I see the end of one path and the beginning of another.

It is a long, hard journey that can only be walked with or by a few. Can’t say if that is because only a few are needed or if because not all are capable of walking alongside us.

But when I think about I’m Not Gonna Miss You and the video that goes with it I feel a mix of sadness and resolve. Those clips of moments in his life and the knowledge they are going to be stripped from him pushes me to go collect as many of my own as I can make.

That is why I won’t be paralyzed by indecision.

Do You Have Secrets?

Yeah, I have a few and those that I keep are massive but they are mine and I am ok with that. Life is lived best by those who actively chase their dreams.

I may be a dreamer but I am not the one who just watches day turn into night and night turn into day.

Editor’s Note:  I took an old post from a few years ago and expanded it. Haven’t decided if I am happy with how it turned out yet, we shall see.

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  1. Underdaddy November 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    One time in kindergarten I shit my pants and didn’t tell anyone, I went home and threw everything away out of embarrassment….. *Long Sigh* Im glad I got that off my chest. Thanks Jack for the emotional outlet.

    • The JackB November 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      @underdaddy:disqus Did you shower too or just toss the garments. 🙂 Glad to be of service here, when we meet I’ll be sure to make sure you wash your hands before we shake. 🙂

      • Underdaddy November 23, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        You just asked for the secret not the life story. I have actually bathed several times since that fateful day. And don’t worry like most people in the middle east, I delegate my shaking and wiping to different hands. I’m not a barbarian.

  2. Larry November 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t have so many secrets. I’m not interested keeping secrets. Let it out.

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