Suppose you should be walking down Broadway after dinner, with ten minutes allotted to the consummation of your cigar while you are choosing between a diverting tragedy and something serious in the way of vaudeville. Suddenly a hand is laid upon your arm. You turn to look into the thrilling eyes of a beautiful woman, wonderful in diamonds and Russian sables. She thrusts hurriedly into your hand an extremely hot buttered roll, flashes out a tiny pair of scissors, snips off the second button of your overcoat, meaningly ejaculates the one word, “parallelogram!” and swiftly flies down a cross street, looking back fearfully over her shoulder.
That would be pure adventure. Would you accept it? Not you. You would flush with embarrassment; you would sheepishly drop the roll and continue down Broadway, fumbling feebly for the missing button. This you would do unless you are one of the blessed few in whom the pure spirit of adventure is not dead.
True adventurers have never been plentiful. They who are set down in print as such have been mostly business men with newly invented methods. They have been out after the things they wanted—golden fleeces, holy grails, lady loves, treasure, crowns and fame. The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate. A fine example was the Prodigal Son—when he started back home.
Half-adventurers—brave and splendid figures—have been numerous. From the Crusades to the Palisades they have enriched the arts of history and fiction and the trade of historical fiction. But each of them had a prize to win, a goal to kick, an axe to grind, a race to run, a new thrust in tierce to deliver, a name to carve, a crow to pick—so they were not followers of true adventure.
In the big city the twin spirits Romance and Adventure are always abroad seeking worthy wooers. As we roam the streets they slyly peep at us and challenge us in twenty different guises. Without knowing why, we look up suddenly to see in a window a face that seems to belong to our gallery of intimate portraits; in a sleeping thoroughfare we hear a cry of agony and fear coming from an empty and shuttered house; instead of at our familiar curb, a cab-driver deposits us before a strange door, which one, with a smile, opens for us and bids us enter; a slip of paper, written upon, flutters down to our feet from the high lattices of Chance; we exchange glances of instantaneous hate, affection and fear with hurrying strangers in the passing crowds; a sudden douse of rain—and our umbrella may be sheltering the daughter of the Full Moon and first cousin of the Sidereal System; at every corner handkerchiefs drop, fingers beckon, eyes besiege, and the lost, the lonely, the rapturous, the mysterious, the perilous, changing clues of adventure are slipped into our fingers. But few of us are willing to hold and follow them. We are grown stiff with the ramrod of convention down our backs. We pass on; and some day we come, at the end of a very dull life, to reflect that our romance has been a pallid thing of a marriage or two, a satin rosette kept in a safe-deposit drawer, and a lifelong feud with a steam radiator.
The previous is an excerpt from The Green Door, by O’Henry. A short story that has spoken volumes to me.
As a self proclaimed Adventurer in Life itself, Taking great joy and pleasure in the random tasks and occurances in everyday life, no matter how mundane or ordinary; There is ALWAYS something unexpected and interesting to be found in Life. That is my Adventure. Something I wrote a while back that sums up my outlook;
Adventure Is what we do Everyday, in all things, routine or not; LIFE is random, and unpredictable. Even when it is dull and routine, we never Know that it will be that, and that is a random chance we take in itself. Adventure, is things done that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, challenging, and (hopefully)enjoyed… Life is, wholly in itself, in its very essence an Adventure! Ergo… LIVE LIFE AND ENJOY THE ADVENTURE!
Small or grand, fabulous or dull, I enjoy the Doing, of all things, because all things are Rarely if ever Exactly the same from one instance to the next.
That intro above, from The Green Door, made me more conscious of this outlook and philosophy, and made me question my adventuress-ness…
I would not be the one to drop the buttered roll, blush and stumble on feebly as the story says.
But quite honestly, probably be the one to stumble half way up the cross street, mumbling “What freaking parallelogram, and why the heck do you need my button?” Slowly losing interest, chasing her a block or tow maybe, dropping the bun after a block, unsure what to do, and Fearing what else I might lose in the chase… And wondering if I really want to catch her, Fearing that much unknown..
Instead of doing what I would Want to do, and tearing after her yelling “What parallelogram?!?!!?” Longingly wondering whats around the next corner.
The realization is that even though I Greatly enjoy the unknown, random things that come along, I also Fear too much of an unknown, and back away too often.
Thus, in this, I have taken a personal challenge, to not just be the half adventurer that I have been, but to fully grasp opertunity as it knocks, or to stay in this stories metaphore; to knock at that green door where ever it is presented to me, ignore the senseless Fears(applying Carefulness instead of Fear); and become the True Adventurer!
So, are you that Adventurer? Will you knock at the Green Door when you come to it? And pass through it when it opens? I hope you do. I intend to!
((As a side note, the entire story is really worth reading, even if not to ponder such things on any level deeper than simple enjoyment of a story. I read it in a book that some friends got me last Christmas(Hi Weston!) I also found it online; http://www.ciudadseva.com/sevacity/stories/en/henry/the_green_door.htm))