For some reason, this word was banging around in my brain during my first run of the day. That happens a lot to me, but usually it’s stupid terms that end up having silly and useless synchronicity I can’t do anything with (like that time I couldn’t get the word “bike” outta my head – and when I went to the gym, that was the only machine open #CosmicEyeroll). But some days – like today – it ends up ultimately having some deeper meaning. At the time, I guessed that it was just because I’d been mentally prepping for my medical terminology class – a course that’s meta in that I end up mentally dissecting all these terms about dissecting body bits (‘cause that’s kinda the whole point of it – sorting out word roots ‘n stuff). Add in the fact that – as a writer – words are always doing acrobatics in my brain, and voila. The scalpel from my pre-req class starts crossing lines like Freddy Krueger homicidally waltzing between dreams and reality with his Wolverine fists by dicing my everyday diction and work life lexicon.


I knew “con” meant “with”, but I stumbled over “fidence” for a moment.

(Then literally too – as a root thrusted upward, the bastard, grabbing my foot and making me trip.)

But I’d be pretty grateful for those malevolent tree feet later on in the day, somewhere around workout number three and trail jog number two. I’d also come to fully analyze that whole word play anew. With fresh eyes. Actually, more like with soil spattered eyes. (Lemme ‘splain.) So, after following an unmarked trail, it descended down a steep cliff-like trail that ultimately culminated in an island on the river. Nothing serious. But coming back, somehow I got twisted around and couldn’t find the trail. Or that same almost-90-degrees-but-still-doable hill I’d taken down. Although I was technically a bit… disoriented (#convenientlyavoidingthetermlost), I did know for sure I needed to be upland. And, seeing as I couldn’t find the optimal route, I realized I’d have to settle for something a bit more… vertiginous.

(Actually more like “1.) If this breaks, this IS how I wanna go out…. 2.) Please.Don’t.Break.)

With a few foxhole prayers, chi-harnessing, and pants-peeing I finally called the bluff’s bluff.

But I’m neither a Bond or non-Bond martini (shaken or stirred) about it.

I live for these death defying moments. And I’ll tell you why.

I’m starting to have a good appreciation for the fact that we’re all gonna die. (“Aw, der she go again…”) Yes. Here I go. And when I go f’real for good I don’t get to keep this (points dramatically to body shell). It doesn’t endure indefinitely, no matter how spiritual or vegan or orthorexic I am. And time’s just an illusion, so I kinda don’t care if that happens now or another forty years from now; I just want it to happen while I’m in a state of doing something awesome. “But you have your whole life ahead of you!” Yes, so do you. We all do. Way I see it is – it doesn’t matter that I haven’t “made it” yet – getting my final degree in my life path – either. I don’t ever want to “make it”. Don’t get me wrong; I have an aim and want my PTA degree. But I never plan to “make it” and stagnate. Every accomplishment’s just a milestone – not a finish line. If I make it to eighty, I wanna still be seeing it that way – same way my gramps did. So, it’s not that I have some premature death wish for a prescription Mother Nature can Kevorkian out for me. I’m just less terrified about the prospect of it happening organically than I used to be. And unwilling to avoid adventure to avert it. And thankful for these life-affirming moments that remind me simultaneously of how small – yet strong – I am, when I’ve got faith in the face of precipice scaling.

And that – faith – is the “fidence” of “confidence”.

Confidence – “with faith”. “Faith” that I can work “with” these roots that will help raise me up outta this muddy scarp. And root me in the grounding sense (both literally and metaphorically here), ‘cause all of your innumerable anxieties become monumentally insignificant the second you utter that foxhole prayer and have it heard. The accompanying stress dissipates. All’s well. I mean, obviously your problems themselves don’t disappear just ‘cause you got the twofer of arbolic cardio and an earthy bath and emerged with your spine intact.

But those issues do transform into climbable land-walls you can Beatrix Kiddo outta.

“With faith” in the roots provided.

Just hafta look for them in every cliff you encounter – terrestrial or not.