I lived aboard a tall ship for seven months. There, I overcame my fear of heights.
While aboard that ship, we received very little in the way of monetary compensation. I regularly joked that I was paid in sunrises. This joke was loaded with truth. Watching the sun rise over the horizon of the glassy Atlantic ocean was a regular treat.
I’ve always loved staring off across the ocean. As a surfer? I’ve spent countless hours scanning the horizon, looking for emerging possibilities for play and engagement with the earth. We all have our own horizons. The horizon defines the limit of the frame of the picture that we can engage with. The horizon is always defined by our perspective.
Clowns and remarkable fools have an odd relationship with the horizon. We’re a bit odd. In some ways, we see the world as a flat space. Most around us? They tend to stick to the middle of the flat world. Remarkable fools and clowns? We go to the edge. Unlike extreme sports athletes, we don’t just go there and take gnarly photos only to return with our glorious trophies. This isn’t a hero’s journey.
Instead? We play a little game, dance a little dance, tell stories and or jokes that lead people from the middle of the flat earth. Once we have people out with us near the edge? We sacrifice ourselves. We sacrifice our dignity. We give it up generously and experience countless embarrassments and humiliations.
To some, this might seem more than just remarkably foolish. To some, this might seem idiotic and stupid. There is however a method to our madness. As we crash and burn, and fall off the earth, we delight in screaming with terror. This attracts loads of attention from the people in the middle of the flat earth. They rush over to the edge to see the carnage. When they get there, they discover that we really didn’t fall that far. The crash wasn’t really that bad. And then? For the risk adverse ones who live in the middle of a flat earth, the horizon of possibilities moves. Their world expands. More things are possible. The pain can be endured
We can keep going.
How do you keep expanding the horizon of possibilities?