We quickly gathered around a visibly distraught Joe as he narrated his sensational ordeal.
“What an embarrassment. What
wastage squander! My moment. The glory that never was. I have no idea what happened right there. Everything backfired at the very last moment. All my senses crumbled at the countdown. I just couldn’t keep my head when it counted most. It seemed all I could think of was the idea of elephants drinking water!” Someone within the room struggled with much difficulty to hold his laughter.
“I have waited for this moment all my life. All I was looking forward to, all I was building up towards. I stayed up long evenings just putting the details together, rehearsing through the motions. History had set me up for the all important glorious moment. Finally there I was, a chance in a lifetime; the world watching as I addressed the ‘extinguished
guests gates!’ from the podium.”
Many of us would have wished to show our moral support in a more honorable way. There was however simply no way within reach of controlling the simultaneous laughter that erupted all across the room for the next one long moment.
In more than just one way we identified with Joe. Profoundly. Many of us. Such loss. It was a deep moment of reflection on what could have been done differently. One got the feeling, though, under the circumstances it was a bit too late to salvage the opportunity. The countdown carries so much power within it, the brief 10-0 progression often eliciting a feeling of eternity. It can be a make-break moment, when destiny and moment connect in perfect symphony, together accelerating into a dawn of unprecedented opportunities. The other side of that coin is equally true; Dreams could come tumbling down in an instant! Utterly. The high-profile session in progress in the highest office of the land made it all so real.
“Mr. President, this is a high priority operation. Our intelligence sources have traced its roots four centuries ago on a surprise attack at The Blazing Trail.”
The atmosphere was somber; the spacious, well-lit executive room heavily colored with distinguished military presence in a top-secret briefing session. The brief of all time.
“The Terminal Foe cunningly cut in on our entourage back then, taking advantage of our exhausted state. He viciously preyed on the weak and struggling who formed the bulk of our back ranks .Considerable harm was meted out on unsuspecting victims in the wake of this ambush. We mounted a difficult but successful counter offensive that effectively held back the threat.
“We have in our safe custody a firm declaration soon after by Alpha the Majestic, before all things and in whom all things; the chariots and horsemen of our beloved and coveted heritage. A sustained zealous cause, from generation to generation till the utter annihilation from the face of the earth of the Terminal Foe. It’s this passion that gathers us here today. We are always many than they are. We must execute to the latter. Mr. President, from every indication, we stand at the threshold of a rather pivotal moment in history. For such a time as this.
The Commander-in-Chief seated calmly at the head of the table lowered his head in a gentle nod, with the walls of the meticulously furnished room flashing with up-to-date images of a massive assembly of troops drawn from all units of the Nation’s elite forces in readiness for the anticipated offensive dubbed Operation Terminal Foe.
“What is the profile?” Came an urgent tone.
“Sir, Terminal Foe is a peculiar morally rabid lot, adorned with lawlessness. Embraced by strange appetites. Bent on betrayal, treachery, violence, greed and revenge. The color of a flashy wounded lion. He is a patient savage stalker and an intriguing master of deception…he left him until an opportune time!”
“What threats does this operation present?” The Head of State had his eye on the intelligence chief.
“Sir, He is before all things! Operation Terminal Foe has to be decisive. Our sources indicate a potential hostage crisis in Ziklag not too long from now. Even more worrying is a possible genocide of our kindred in Persia five centuries down the lane. Both eventualities are masterminded by the Terminal Foe. A huge possibility I must add, if we squander our opportunity here. I agree, it’s for such a time as this we stand at this moment. This will definitely tell how history remembers us. A moment in a lifetime.”
“Are we ready General?” The Chief of General Staff rose from the table, his towering figure a marvel. “We have assembled a mammoth force of two hundred thousand. The highest in the Nation’s history. We will stage a well coordinated advance from the sea, land and air. All units as you can see are in place. Our surveillance is in place. We have the enemy in full sight. All factors held constant, there’s no reason why the operation should last more than an hour.”
“What’s that?” The Commander-in-Chief pointed at the right hand side of the giant screen to his left.
“We suspect that’s where their C-in-C is holed up. There’s evidently plenty of movement around here as it’s falling within their economic hub. We…”
“I will take care of that!” Cut in the Commander-in-Chief almost anxiously. “See to it I have the necessary cover. I will personally lead the unit that will be securing that area. That’s a direct order from tall and handsome! Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Set all units on the countdown and let the action begin! ”
And so the action began. Glory is always a blank cheque possibility; the Moment secures or loses it. As the mighty force descended on The Terminal Foe with the swoop of a mighty eagle, glory was served on a silver platter. For the obedient to have. Every game has its rules though. And there are things that can never be grabbed such as glory. They can only be received. For true glory has a source. And the secret is always in the attention to detail, the mark of distinction in the finer details.
Activity is not always the evidence of progress, neither is motion. For true progress too is a precious gift no personal effort can
afford achieve. It all goes back to the rules of the game; each game. And rules have a source too. It’s a battle for supremacy, for in the end I get to live my life or to live Life. There is a priceless Life giving beauty in the color of obedience, such untapped glamour in the substance of heeding. Tightly hidden from the fatal heart of self. It’s not always easy to tell where I am standing from time to time!
As a dumbfounded Commander-in-chief stood before his dresser, the difference between a crown and honor was beginning to play before his eyes. What an eventful day it had been. So much activity had transpired. All but what really needed to be done. Eloquence has its limitations. Not even his spirited sense of justification could change the score sheet, for in the end, it all stood naked before the rules as in a litmus test. And before the ultimate source, the Desire and Spectacle of the Nations in confounding measure,in whom all things hold together. He began to see how the details could separate heyday from dooms day. It was not always easy to discern the prominence of each moment. Great fear seized him. He saw it so clearly now, a bit too late to salvage the moment.
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