My dad had a dear lifelong friend who went by the name Jonesy. Apparently Jonesy had a habit of uttering some unique phrases, a la Yogi Bera. One “Jonesy-ism was the expression, “You can’t get there from here.” I believe it was his intention to express that a certain place was difficult to get to. Rather than giving lengthy directions, he would just proclaim that it wasn’t possible to go from Point A to Point B.
As a youngster, I didn’t comprehend the spirit of this oft-repeated expression. To my little imagination, this concept intrigued and scared me. Were there really places to which you couldn’t get from our little northern New Jersey hometown? I wondered if some invisible wall prevented one from venturing beyond a certain point? What were these places to which one couldn’t go – and why?
Obviously I’ve grown to understand the spirit of Jonesy’s expression; some places are more difficult to get to than others. And as I’ve gained maturity, I’ve come to know that it isn’t only distance or terrain that makes a place difficult to get to; nor is “there” necessarily a physical place.
In my life I’ve learned that things are sometimes more complicated than they originally seem. When they are, it’s easy to consider giving up – abandoning all hope – and conclude that I’ll never be able to get there from where I am now. The challenge is too great; the demands more than can be met; I can’t get there from here.
Fortunately, more often than not, I’ve found Jonesy’s words to be inaccurate. Now I know that physically – especially these days – there is no place one can’t get to (given enough time, effort, a guide and/or a map). Nor are there many challenges to face that are simply impossible to overcome – given enough time and effort (and maybe a supportive friend and generous portions of prudence and perseverance). Overwhelming, excruciating, exhausting to do – but usually most things to which we aspire can be achieved. Jonesy, based upon what I see others – and even myself – accomplish, I’m going to have to disagree with you.
Yes, we can get there from here.