Looking Up

Over the years I’ve been part of many builds.  I started as part of a fire truck and went on to participate in many different vehicles, from race cars to boats.  I’ve been a part of many walls, used as internal structural support for many models, and I even had the opportunity to contribute to a few abstract artistic pieces here and there.

But the grass, as they say, is always greener.

My career has been rich and rewarding, but I still find myself longing for something I’ve never had, something I am admittedly probably not well suited for…

I want to be part of a space ship.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to soar through imaginary stars?  To battle figments of hostile aliens, help fictional explorers discover ancient ruins on a dead moon, or smuggle hypothetical cargo for a whimsical boss… oh, it would be divine!

But, I am what I am.  There’s not much call for a big red brick in a sleek stealth fighter, or even in a bulk freighter!  Sure, it might happen, but even if it does what are the chances that I’ll be a cool part of the ship?  I’ll probably play the role of a cargo container, or some internal support that can’t even see the light of day (or those distant,  imaginary suns).

Just once I’d like to be out there in front, leading the way to the final frontier as part of a weapons array, a critical piece of shielding, or even a bit of fanciful decoration.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the work I’ve done, and I look forward to being a part of a wide variety of creations going forward.  I just have desires and dreams, as I’m sure every brick does.  I think it’s important to reach for what’s beyond your grasp.  It helps you challenge yourself, and encourages growth.

One day, perhaps, I’ll soar through a fantastic nebula as part of a great ship on an important mission.  If I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

The Dark

I’ve been seeing a therapist lately, and they’ve been encouraging me to talk more about some of the traumatic events in my life.  In fact, they’ve encouraged me to share with a wider audience, so I figured I write about something that happened to me a few years ago here.

Honestly, I don’t know how good of a story this is going to be.  There isn’t much to tell, really.  I had been spending some time as part of the underside of a biplane when, suddenly, we were dropped.  Being dropped happens to all of us, it’s just a fact of life.  I’ve been dropped hundreds of times, it’s not a big deal.

But this drop was different.

On the way down we impacted the edge of a table, and we came apart in spectacular fashion.  I remember seeing one of the red 1×8’s I was attached to fly so far and so fast, with such an incredible spin, that I’m still surprised she didn’t learn how to fly.  Many landed on the floor, others came to rest on the table we collided with, and a few fell on the couch.  But not me.  I didn’t end of on the floor, on the table, or on the couch.

I ended up under the couch.

Like being dropped, landing in a wide variety of places is a common occurrence.  The fact that I landed in a dark, dirty place was not a big deal.  The problem was that I wasn’t picked up with the others.  Through the sliver of light I saw my coworkers retrieved while I was forgotten about.

I got lost, and I stayed lost for nearly a year.

It’s hard to describe being lost.  There’s not much to it; you just exist there, under the couch, and have nothing to do.  In many ways it’s like being in a bin with other bricks, waiting to be called into service.  But the other bricks aren’t there.  It’s just you, the darkness, and uncertainty.

The worst parts were small moments of unexpected hope or terror.  When the whole couch shifts above you suddenly you can’t help but think that this is it, this when the whole thing is going to tilt up or be pushed aside and you’ll be discovered and returned to where you belong.  But that didn’t happen.  It was just someone sitting down too hard, or someone nudging the furniture back into position.

And that terror I mentioned?  That would be due to the vacuum, of course.  I’ve heard stories of bricks that were sucked up by a vacuum that were then miraculously retrieved to tell their tale, but I don’t know that I believe them.  I’m pretty sure that vortex of air and noise is, for all intents and purposes, the end.  And being right there on the floor with a front row seat to your own person doom is a nerve racking place to be.

Being lost was one of the worst things that ever happened to me.  But, one day it ended.  One day the couch did lift, I was picked up, and my life got back on track.  Everyone was glad to see me, and I was ecstatic to see them.  They had a lot of stories to tell me, but I didn’t have much to tell them, so I stayed pretty quiet for a while.

It’s funny… ever since being lost I’ve found a new appreciation for the little things in life.  That feeling when a minifigure’s feet are adhered to your studs, or when you get to work with some of your favorite colleagues on a big project… even the simple pleasure of greeting new arrivals when another set is added to the collection; it’s all more rich now, more precious.

I would never wish being lost on anyone, for any reason, but it sure does give you time to think, and it helps put things in perspective.