Safe on the Side-hills of Success

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“A crooked legged man walks best on the side-hills of success.”

This quote is puzzling. It nags at me, begging for my attention like a pesky dog wanting me to throw a ball.   So I’ve decided to toss it out  and fetch it’s meaning—for me. If it intrigues you,  please do join me to wonder over it.
I think that the term “crooked legged” refers, not to anatomy, but to some flaw in thinking that hinders fulfillment of my goals.  Ironically, I have been afraid of heights all of my life and have tried to overcome this fear, climbing and crossing over high places. That must be why the above “wise-ism” intrigues me. “Crooked-legged” is a metaphor for the fear that plagues me, and side-hills would then symbolize the safe, attainable and familiar.
Don’t we all want to be successful (whatever that means) in our endeavors?   I write and paint, always trying to catch onto, constantly hoping to  capture, some lovely thing that probably I can’t quite get hold of. Spirit perhaps? Yes, I am  safe and comfortable on the side-hills of success, looking up. But I force myself to climb higher  into unfamiliar territory. Reaching the top of the mountain could just expose my flaw (like the idea of being crooked legged) as an excuse I have conjured up. A shadow across my path upward. And then what?……..

“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

Presently, I am trying to master two difficult things: 1. I want to narrate my own audiobook.  2. I seek to tame an aggressive dog. I am technologically challenged, but must learn to use recording and editing equipment if I am to do an audiobook, and I am afraid I can’t figure out the jargon. The dog? Her name is Karma. She scares me. There is the rub. I have to go in the direction of my fear. If that isn’t crooked-legged thinking, what is? “Karma.” Hmmmmm. I wonder how this rescued dog earned such a name!
So, I accept the idea that “crooked legged” means, for me, fear of excellence. I am tempted to stay with what I can already do. But, I want to take what talent I have, to higher levels and explore new territory. An audiobook? Well, I have read the manual on my recorder and set up a make-shift studio. Now, I have to hit the red “record” button and try out the microphone. And I must learn to modulate and sing my words so they make a melody of my stories.
And the dog? She waits outside my door. It will take all my strength and love of the wild to master this exquisite beast. Mastery. Never complete mastery. No. For me, success resides on the mountain top of partnering with the wild in the other. But my “downfall” is contained in another “wise-ism” by an unknown author:

“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”

While I chip away at the rock of editing and revising Epiphany, please consider downloading The Way Back from any e-book store, written by S.K. Carnes, me. Here is a review:
“The Way Back: A Soldier’s Journey has something to please any reader – romance, history, adventure, drama, poetry, a quietly epic feel, a magnificently rendered landscape, and eclectic characters unlike any of the ‘ho-hum’ heroes of lesser fiction. Having once entered John Chapman’s world, readers will want to linger, holding close one of the most pure-of-heart and earnestly crafted narratives in recent memory.” —Writers Digest
Order the Historical Novel by S.K. Carnes,  The Way Back, recently released in all e-book stores.


5 thoughts on “Safe on the Side-hills of Success”

  1. A “crooked legged man” to me, refers to any of our differences, or things that may be considered by society as a hinderence, but if one finds the place they fit in, they will be successful.
    Finding where our particular talents, skills, and differences fit in, is the trick.
    There is a great cartoon, a drawing of all different kinds of animals in a line, everything from lions, birds, elephants, dogs, even fish. There is a tree and a prize in one of the branches. The punchline underneath reads, “This is a test to see who can reach the reward first”. Well of course if we use one idea from society to decide who will be successful, only certain people will be able to arrive at that place. There is no way that fish will be able to get that prize out of the tree, but if the test was breathing underwater, he would be the winner.
    We must open our eyes and opinions to include all beings. I believe it’s also called adaptability, not only thos with differences, but thos without who need to adapt to thinking differently.

    1. Lisa:
      I agree. In this case, the successful communicator would be the open minded person who realizes that “crooked” for one is straight for another. I quote you again. “We must open our eyes and opinions to include all beings.” If we do that, there is no such thing as crooked. If we do not, I think we will never move higher for we will be crippled by our own limitations. Thanks for the very profound comment!

  2. Yes, of course, “crooked-legged” refers to our differences or imperfections, but I wouldn’t go looking for a place where we fit in. Our growth doesn’t depend on a level playing field, and a good thing too since equality probably doesn’t exist. Everywhere is a side-hill.
    I think the phrase suggests that success itself is a dubious value. The crooked-legged one will always live on the side-hills struggling for higher ground. Someone said that the fight for freedom is where it’s at, not freedom itself. Anyone who settles for their success or existing state of freedom must not be unaware that higher forms of freedom await. Is life not a series of breakthroughs, endlessly? Until we surrender.
    Just thinking out loud.

  3. Ah yes PJ. You are so eloquent and yes I know you meant to say “aware” for the “unaware” in that next to last line. I understand your saying the quest is where it’s at. But then you said break throughs into higher forms of freedom “until we surrender.” Now there is something. Is that death? Is that the coming to the end of questing? Can one be without desire and still be alive? Perhaps that is enlightenment? Does this need to excel dissipate and we become “light”-“enlightened”-bask in enlightenment and float our energy in and out of all things? Hmmmmm. Is it our separateness that we surrender? How funny. We spend our lives finding ourselves and then give our individuality away?
    Just thinking out loud too.

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