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Potential Energy

They tell us that “fight” and “flight” are hardwired into our bodies, and that our bodies are hardwired into our souls.  Heart racing, blood pounding, head screaming – there’s energy there, raw force, and physics teaches us that energy and potential are the same thing …

… so much potential, and all we can use it for is “fight” or “flight.”  It seems tragic.

Is there a third option?  Something between them – or beyond them?

I don’t know what that would look like.

Let’s try it.  Imagine I’m holding a knife to your oldest son’s throat, and instead of fearing for his life and the shattering of the world like so much broken stained glass, you use that energy to compose a symphony.  And you play that symphony on your computer’s sound design program, giving extra oomph to the horn section, and I put the knife down and turn myself over to the police.  I honestly don’t know if this is a satirical situation or not.  But the knife is down.  Your son runs to your arms.  The police have me in handcuffs, and you are walking away, taking your symphony with you, giving it to all your children, and telling them to cherish it:  “This is the music that saved us,” you tell them.  “We didn’t take it seriously at first, but listen … listen … there was a moment where the ridiculous came true, and this music became the blood of your life.  This music is your brother.  Treasure it.”

And you do.  Wouldn’t that be something.


St. John Campbell is a pseudonym

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