A Step to the Left

So I have another theory.

I don’t think it was stolen. Or borrowed. Well, at least not directly, although there are a limited number of stories in circulation. It possibly edges on the sliding doors phenomenon, although I have to admit I haven’t actually seen the film –


Forget bubbles.

And doors (sliding or otherwise).

Think – wait for it – paths.

Last year, I went to a vintage 1920s party. It was run by this great group that I discovered through a friend. It was my first vintage party – and I turned up in an Oasis T-shirt and jeans. Oooops. There is nothing like walking into a room full of men clad in spats and breeches, and women wearing flapper dresses and sequins, and realising that you’ve made a bit of a faux pas –

There is a group of people – I soon discovered – who regularly put on their vintage digs and step back into another time.

And so, what I took away from the experience (aside from a cute handbag and a china blue vintage dress), was an appreciation that, if you step to the left, there might be a whole world you haven’t seen before.

So, this is the theory.

There are lots of worlds, lined up alongside each other, all going on at the same time. Some of them we glimpse into. Some of them we pass totally by. Some of them we touch the edges of – and then decide that they’re not really for us. And some we tumble into, and feel like we’ve come home.

It’s crazy exciting.

It means that new opportunities can appear, depending on where you stand. That the fringes of one world might also be the fringes of another community, or passion, or way of being, that is just beyond earshot or eyesight –

Which also, upon reflection, makes me a little bit afraid.

And so, without pretending that all the paths are blossom filled and sparkling, I’ve decided that zig-zagging is the way forward in 2011. It’s all about lowering the walls, and being open to the possibilities –

and also knowing that we only ever, I think, see a part of what is going on.


18 responses to “A Step to the Left

  1. I felt the same about role-play. Not exactly my cup of tea, but the other dimension of it is fascinating! It’s real travelling! xx

    • The word dimension is exactly what I was looking for when I was writing this! I felt like I’d only seen one side of the world and if you flipped it round a bit the view could be completely different.
      You might choose to walk through some of the paths quite quickly… 😉

  2. It’s why I love meeting random people and talking to them. I get a glimpse into another world, and they get a glimpse into mine. Paths crossing and then usually veering away again, but exciting at the time, and leaving me with a glow afterwards.

    • Oooh – you’ve added a whole new image into the analogy. Love the idea of intertwined paths or of the intersections where they meet.

  3. It is funny how some people identify themselves so strongly with a social group (think religion, orientation, music, class) that they rarely travel outside it. Then there are some who belong to none and these are the travellers who get to walk freely passing from one group to the other embracing the whole world whilst never limiting themselves.
    I have one friend (an old friend who has stuck) who is of the goth crowd. Whenever there is an important gathering he invites me to I am the only one in jeans and tshirt rather than the usual goth “get up” and stand out like a sore thumb.
    But it makes me feel free.
    Happy travels Issa.

    • I guess this is why the theory struck me so strongly…I’ve always been a bit stuck in my thinking and a bit afraid of not fitting in. If there’s no one way, it alleviates the fear a bit – and I like the courage that comes from moving in between groups. It does sound free. xx

  4. I so love the line about tumbling into different worlds, and feeling like we’ve come home. I love all the possibility and amazement and wonder and life that lives there.

    We never really know what’s out there, or what might captivate us if we just create a little space for life to seep in.

    • I think that’s the key bit Melissa – the creating a little space and being open to trying new things. Hope we discover lots of wonderful places 🙂

  5. Beautiful thoughts and theory! Definitely crazy exciting…

    I love the idea that new worlds, opportunities and discoveries are there and that we only have to take a sidestep or alter our view to find them. Inspiring stuff – if we’re open, open our eyes and zig-zag then -whoa – cool things and great adventures may come… 🙂

    Here’s to freedom and finding fresh excitement in life!

    • The word freedom keeps coming up (well it has twice) – and I definitely think there’s something in there. Something about not being afraid of stepping off the central route, and of being open to curiousity and new things and trying stuff.
      A crazy exciting 2011, right 🙂

  6. 🙂

  7. This is my favorite post you’ve ever written. I love, love, love this theory and I’ve never heard it before, so I’m deciding anyone who says something like it now copying you. (I plan to copy you.)


    “I’ve decided that zig-zagging is the way forward in 2011. It’s all about lowering the walls, and being open to the possibilities –
    and also knowing that we only ever, I think, see a part of what is going on.”

    is a bit of magic.

    • Copy away. It’s funny cos I was a little bit scared that it would seem too flippant given that not everyone has a great path in life….but then I did wonder whether the stepping to one side means that there’s always opportunities, whether they are immediately visible or not. I don’t know – just worred me when I was re-reading it and am really glad that it made sense. 🙂

  8. Zig zagging: it’s what I do all the time — sure beats the straight and narrow! 🙂

    May your zigs be long and your zags be wide!

  9. Thanks Phil 🙂 That’s definitely the agenda.

  10. Love this post, I think we are on similar paths, which shall hopefully continue to cross 🙂 It is yet another reason why I loves the interwebs, invisible paths that lead to real people.

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