fade to blacksmith

What’s more satisfying, climbing Mount Everest, or climbing onto a chair because a mouse just scurried by?

Don’t you ever knock? I was in the middle of something!

Oh yea? Like what?

I was.. um.. well, I wasn’t playing with my Star Wars figures, I’ll tell you that!
So what’s with the twenty questions?

What do you know about swords??

Huh? Uh.. they’re long and hard? heheh heheh

Right! But do you know how that happens???

No, do you?! ..and what are you on??

I do! ..and nothing!!
Let me break it down for you..
First, the blacksmith has to find the metal. It has to be just the right type of metal, not just anything will do. Once he has it, he burns it. He burns it, then bashes it with his big ol’ hammer, and it starts to take shape. When he’s happy with it, he drowns it! He soaks it, which cools it down and tempers the metal. Afterwards, he drags it on stone and sharpens and polishes it.

Hopefully he bought it dinner first.

Exactly, it’s not easy or fun, for either of them. It’s work. It’s an arduous experience for the both of them, but what remains is a masterpiece.

Great, I’ve always wanted a peek into Hattori Hanzo‘s life. Sooo, what’s this really about?

It’s about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Less TV, more sleep. K?

No, you see.. in life, we have options. Everyday, we have options. We usually choose that which is easiest. Nobody wants to challenge themselves all day long, so for the most part, we choose what’s easy. However, there are times when the choice we need to make is an important one. Those choices aren’t always easy.

Some choices scare us, they’re too important and look too difficult. Sometimes, we stick our heads in the sand and wait for someone else to make the choice for us. We wait and wait until a variable changes and we’re no longer left with a choice.

Sounds like a good plan.

No! That’s fine for the unimportant stuff, but not for the big stuff! We need to drop the hammer on them! The choice must be made, and most often than not, the hardest choice is the one that’s going to yield the best results.

Gimme an example

Fine.. Last year, I had just bought my motorcycle. I was terrified of it, and more times that I’d like to admit, I would stare at it for twenty minutes trying to decide if I should ride or not. I chose to ride many times, and each time I became more and more confident. I started to get cocky. One day, I was too cocky and tried to outrun a semi onto the highway. It didn’t end well, I wiped out on the highway and I’m lucky the semi didn’t run me over. I stood up, dusted myself off, and rode the twenty miles back to my house. I did this, with two fractured wrists and a fractured elbow.


Yes, owwy indeed. It was at this point that I had a choice to make.. The easy choice, get rid of the murdercycle and spare myself of anymore life-threatening excursions. The hard choice, heal, get back on the bike, and be less cocky.

oooh! oooh! What’d you choose??

I was in my garage every day I could, making repairs to the bike, and testing my hand strength until I could finally squeeze the clutch without pain. Once that happened, my twenty-minute stare-down became a forty-minute stare-down. I thought I was terrified before the accident. I still managed to push through it and ride. I didn’t go nearly as far, and I was always afraid that my tires were going to just fall off, but I rode.

Now, it’s a year later and my stare-downs only last a few minutes, if any. I love Rita. I’ve learned how she handles, how she sounds, and how she feels. Sure, there’s always a chance that I’ll wreck again, some things are out of my control, but the pleasure that comes from being on two wheels far outweighs the fear I have.

So making the harder choice was the right thing?

I don’t know. If I’m rolled over by a semi tomorrow, in hindsight it may seem like I made the wrong choice. I do know, however, that facing my fear has left me feeling more satisfied and accomplished than running for my life.

Our ancestors could have survived on rats, but they chose to challenge themselves and kill bigger game. Benny Franklin could have stayed indoors when it rained, but he chose to go fly a kite. The Wright Brothers could have stayed on two feet, but they made the hard choice so that they could fly.

I could have just put headphones on and sung ‘la la la la’

Right! ..but you didn’t. You made the hard choice and stuck it out with me.
The easiest way to live a spectacular life, is to not take the easy way.

“My friends we’ve seen it all, when it made no sense at all. You dared to light my path and found beauty in the aftermath.” – Give Me Strength, Snow Patrol