Does water know it can rise only to the level of its current bounds? Sometimes we forget that there are higher banks than our current trough, leading us to accept that we have reached a high state of awareness and mental acuity. Then we reach a canyon whose walls are composed of minds much more brilliant than ours, and we find ourselves a babbling brook.
At first this might seem a failed analogy until you realize that, no matter how high the bank or bounds, it’s the amount of water available that allows for volume enough to strain the lateral limits and rise to the vertical. The bounds — the margins and their heights — are markers of aspiration that we ourselves cannot define but to which we can contribute. We are not the measure of ourselves nor our current borders the end of possibilities.
The amount and quality of thought we generate within the bounds provides the volume; and the force of thought, the current. The bounds provide us channel and height to reach.
We each have our limits in both volume and bounds to which we can aspire. Expecting a brook to fill a canyon is unrealistic and unfair. But we are free and able to choose our channels. That we find ourselves in one deeper than we can fill is not shameful, but rather awesome and inspirational
…unless we personalize the contrast and turn admiration into scorn. Then we change the brook to a slough, depleted of oxygen and stagnant of inspiration, uninspirable, uninspiring.
On the flip-side, If we think we have reached the vertical limit of our current bounds and think ourselves “arrived” or more fulsome that another, we arrogate rather than irrigate. Perhaps we are merely a momentary flash-flood, ephemeral in a high-water state, whose only affect is to wash away the untethered and overwhelm inspiration.