Uncrossable chasms. Invisible bridges.
Here’s what I’ve learned about uncrossable chasms:
1) There is always an invisible bridge.
2) That does not make the first step any easier.
The scariest part is not the crumbling edge, nor the wind whipping up from below, nor the unfathomable depths to which you might fall if you’re completely wrong about all this.
The scariest part is after you’ve stepped forward, and your weight shifts juuuust enough that you cannot get back to that uncertain edge that looked kinda shady earlier, but now seems like a way surer bet than some invisible bridge.
It is mighty hard to feel comforted by an invisible bridge. Although I have yet to arrive at any invisible bridge-less chasms, that first heart-in-throat step never gets easier. And after I cross, I exhale mightily, give thanks for safe passage, and swear on everything I hold sacred that I will never ever ever cross an uncrossable chasm EVER AGAIN.
Yet, predictably, here I am at another chasm. We’re moving to Colorado sometime in the next six months. How? No clue. In a practical sense, there is definitely no bridge. We don’t have the funds, we don’t have a landing place, and there is no Trader Joe’s there.
But doors open. Bridges (and new Trader Joe’s stores) appear. You just have to believe in them.
The subject of invisible bridges brings us, of course, to Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade, the best of the series (and not just because Sean Connery).
What I love about this perfectly-captured crossing of an uncrossable chasm is Indy’s face after he says it’s a “leap of faith.” He’s clearly wishing this were not a PG-13 movie so he could more colorfully express his opinions about faith.
Yet, despite his skepticism, he steps. Once he lands, he believes all right. But belief is not the same thing is faith. Faith is the closed-eyes, clenched-fists, deep breath brave move forward; belief is the “See? Told you so” safe landing.
In looking across this chasm, I think of other chasms I’ve crossed. Some steps have taken longer to land on that invisible surface, but every one of them landed. Eventually.