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September 19, 2002 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-19

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, September 19, 2002
RENA GREIFINGER - EYO Y WooS)

v A

GLORIOUS CLIFFS AND LIFE LESSONS

SECRETS OF THE PROS
Ted Jaekel, head cook at Ashley's
Restaurant and Pub, presents ...
Ashley's Artichoke Dip

When I finally open my
eyes again, I am almost
surprised, to find the
world hasn't changed in the last
second. The rolling hills and cliffs
of the French Riviera still stand
stoically before me, as if meticu-
lously painted into the blue of the
sky. The sun shines brightly, leav-
ing tiny droplets of perspiration
along my tanned skin.
With great effort, I keep my
focus straight ahead, because look-
ing down will initiate the trem-
bling in my legs again. I look any-
way. The crystal water, which had
been so inviting, so soothing all
day, suddenly looks forbidding.
The various shades of aqua and
midnight dance before me in the
light breeze, teasing my mind -
beckoning me and waving me off
at the same time. I tell myself

repeatedly that I am going to jump;
I just need one more second. For
the umpteenth time, I count to
three and hold my breath, but my
feet seem to remain glued to the
pointed rock beneath me. I need to
just do it already!
Opposing arguments whirl
through my head as I debate the
consequences of embarking on or
resisting this endeavor. I know that
the more I stand here, contemplat-
ing an entrance into the 40-foot
void before me, the less likely I
will be to actually follow through.
I know that if I chicken out, I
will never let myself live it down.
Yet, I am also aware that holding
back would not be so great a dis-
appointment.
What do I need to jump off this
cliff for anyway? Who do I have to
prove myself to? Still, I know that

I have a lot to prove and that it is I
who needs the convincing. I sit
another moment, torn between
thoughts of justification for taking
the easy way out and chastisement
for being a coward.
My mind races with fear, excite-
ment, and anticipation of the rush
of flying through the air - if I can
just push off this ledge.
There are so many situations in
our lives, so many times in which
we are standing atop a glorious
cliff, debating between taking a
.step back and enjoying the view
from above, and stepping forward
into the unknown.
So often we are asked to make
important choices, to survey our
options, and to weigh the benefits
of each. And so often we want to
take that step; dared to jump by the
spark of adventure that lurks with-

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in us all - a spark just waiting to
ignite.
Yet, fear holds us back from so
much. Fear of the unknown, of the
fall, of the impact. It is only natu-
ral that we embrace comfort and
security in life. It is innate that we
fear harm and humiliation; pain
both physical and emotional.
So many of us keep our true
feelings hidden when faced with
confrontation. If fulfilling our
dreams means letting go of what
we know and have, we may deny
ourselves those dreams out of pure
trepidation.
Even love, the most incredible
entity in this world, can also be the
most terrifying. We have all feared
love; feared letting people into our
hearts and in turn, giving our
hearts to others.
Yet, we too possess a burning
desire to let go, say what's on our
mind's, and give ourselves up to
love. We want to stand up on those
great boulders, our feet strapped
into safety and our eyes peering
down into the depths of that desire,
and we want so badly to jump.
And then there is this moment. A
split second, really, where all the
fog that has clogged my mind
seems to lift. I don't know exactly
what it is - my boyfriend's whis-
pers of encouragement in my ear,
the French boys snickering behind
my back or that tiny flame within
me that has finally gone ablaze.
But I don't count to three, I don't
take another deep breath and I
don't even know what I am doing
until there is nothing beneath my
feet and the enchanted scene that
had just stood still before me is
rapidly flying upward. I jumped! I
landed! I kindled my flame!
And so again, I have learned
something about life. I am not here
to say that we should go jumping
off every cliff or that every risk is

worth taking. I am not saying that I
have conquered all my fears or that
I would even jump again. But, life
has so much to offer; so much that
its opportunities are beyond what
we know and can see.
I learned an important lesson up
there on that glorious cliff. I
learned that facing the jump is
usually the hardest part. That it
takes so much effort to stand on
that edge, stare down at the un-
chartered waters beneath, and
somehow decide that the risk is
worth taking. For, once airborne, it
all looks and feels much simpler.
I just stepped off and let gravity
take its course. I allowed life to
flow as it should, asking myself all
the while why I had caused such a
scene up there in the first place.
So, when given a chance, we
should not quickly jump with
enthusiasm, nor should we imme-
diately turn away in fear. We
should just sit upon that fear a
moment, count to three and take a
deep breath. We should challenge
our fears and step out of that shell
of comfort, yet only after looking
around and grasping the magnitude
of what we are about to dive into.
Perhaps the battle is just reach-
ing that edge and being able to see
what's on the other side. Whatever
it is, the battle can indeed be won.
I challenge you all to jump the
next time you aren't sure. I cannot
guarantee that the landing will be
worth the take off, but I can assure
you that the fall will be easier than
you expected.
- Insight? Email Rena at
rgreifin@umich.edu

INGREDIENTS
1 can artichoke hearts
(about 16 oz.)
1 block cream cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 cups mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup horseradish
2 oz. hot sauce
salt
pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1) Blend all ingredients.
2) Toast bread.
3) Serve on bread.
4) Garnish with peppers
and tomatoes.
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WEEKEND MAGAZINE ,"
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AND GIVE US FEEDBACK AT
^TWEEKEND2K2ed mCH.keDu., Ashley's head cookshw 'hiarcokdi DAVID KATZ/Daily
Ted Jaekel, Ashley's head cook, shows off his artichoke dip.

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