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© 2010 Linsen. All rights reserved.

A Change

I have often wondered why it is that we spend so much of our lives chasing after things. Always there is some distant goal on the horizon, some far-off height to which we aspire. It is so seldom that we are content to be where we are; we must always drive onwards towards some half-imagined better place.

The irony, however, is that when years of effort finally bring us to our destination, we have already set our sights on some new, even more distant target.

People say that life is a journey, but we spend so much of the journey fixated on where we are headed that we completely forget the journey itself. All that we are left with is a sense of striving, of being unfulfilled.

It was many years ago when I first became aware of this tendency of ours, this habit of living forever in a future of our creation, and not in the present. As I worked my way through school and into university, I always carried some ideal of the perfect life I should aspire to. Get a degree, get a job, get a home, a wife, children, dogs. I was quite contentedly following this track until I met Lara.

It was more of a collision than a meeting, that first encounter. I was late for an economics class, and as a result wasn’t paying much attention to where I was going. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground with my books scattered all around me. After a moment, I got my bearings and investigated what had caused this most recent hurdle. There, spread out in a decidedly ungainly manner, lay a human-sized fairy. It was clothed in a bright green jersey, faded brown tights and sported a shock of bright orange hair. So unexpected and vibrant was its appearance that it was only after a moment’s pause that I realised I had impacted not with some elfin creature, but with a human girl.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t…  I hope you’re not hurt?” I stammered through my shock, and attempted to help her to her feet.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about me,” she replied. “Rather ask yourself where it is you’re going at such a breakneck speed.”

“Yeah, I’m late for a class, ummm, economics, and was in a bit of a rush, and …” I trailed off, withering under her piercing stare.

“No, not that. I meant where are you going? What’s making you rush so to reach that class?”

I struggled to find a suitable response, some way of expressing the gravity of what suddenly seemed so trivial. Before I could answer, however, she continued.

“It is a challenge, isn’t it. We’re so focused on going somewhere, we quickly forget where we are, and often even where we’re going. Speaking of which, I have a audition to get to. Are you coming?”

“Ummm, OK.” I wasn’t used to being invited to unknown places by total strangers, and found myself answering more out of shock than anything else.

“Great. Come on then, we mustn’t be too late,” she said over her shoulder, already striding off without a backward glance. I quickly grabbed m fallen books and ran to catch up. “I’m Lara, by the way,” she added, almost as an afterthought.

One Comment

  1. Posted 30 Sep ’10 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    This could be the beginning of a magic story ;-)

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