On trust

A winding dirt road surrounded by scruffy bushes and with mountains in the distance.

A winding dirt road surrounded by scruffy bushes and with mountains in the distance. The road I’m on barely warrants the name; it is more of a trail, the width of a car, that winds through the forest. I’m in four wheel drive, bumping slowly downwards. At one point, the road turns upward sharply than drops away again immediately. I stop at the top. The nose of the vehicle is pointed up at the trees and I can’t see the road at all. My friend in the passenger seat – a more experienced off-road driver – laughs at my nervousness: “The road is still there. You know it’s there, so just go.”

View from above of a pair of feet in sneakers walking on cement. “Don’t look at the floor. It’s not going anywhere,” says my Tai Chi teacher. My partner and I laugh; he knows that right now I can’t really feel my feet. That is combining with my lack of balance to make my animal instincts less sure that the floor is, indeed, still there from one step to the next.

I lean atheistic in no small part because I like to perceive instead of believe. I want to trust my senses, but they are sometimes failing me. My instincts can be tricked and can override my logic, so I must extend my trust to common sense and my memories.

I need to know that the ground is still there, still strong and supportive, even if I can’t see or feel it.

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On trust was originally published on We're Made of Mud and Magic