Take the Whole Kit

Take the whole kit

with the caboodle

Experience life

don’t deplore it

Shake hands with time

don’t kill it

Open a lookout

Dance on a brink

Run with your wildfire

You are closer to glory

Leaping an abyss

than upholstering a rut

     Poet James Broughton encourages us to take the whole kit with the caboodle; to be open to the pain and the pleasure, the hard and the easy, the difficult and the delightful, the yin and the yang of life. Sounds counter intuitive if you ask me, and maybe even a little masochistic, like risking harm is as desirable as playing it safe. But the poet insists on singing the praises of peril by inviting us to take chances, to explore new territory, to confront our fears, even if the outcome of doing so could be our undoing.

     The aversion to flirting with danger notwithstanding, we know there is wisdom in the saying “no pain no gain.” Everything from muscles to memory to mettle must be pushed to their limits if we are to become our best selves. We can spend our days “upholstering a rut,” but if we do, we are likely to come to the end of our days regretting that we did not live more fully, that we did not take chances while we had the chance. The “caboodle” of comfort, security, and predictability have an important place in life, but kit and caboodle are partners, they are bundled, it’s the package deal.  

     Try as we might, we cannot outrun danger, for it is part of the fabric of life. But what we can do is be willing to face it by making changes, taking on new challenges, and choosing to wander outside our comfort zone. In the poet’s words, we can “shake hands with time,” “dance on a brink,” “run with our wildfire,” “leap an abyss.” When we live in this manner, he says, we are “closer to glory,” closer to participating in the sacred, God-energy that is life.

2 thoughts on “Take the Whole Kit

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