This is the metal catalyst that converts the 3% hydrogen peroxide in my contact lens solution into saline. Without it the peroxide would do a pretty good job of oxidizing my eyeballs. Ouch.
Unfortunately, not every aspect of life comes with a convenient catalyst, sitting there, driving reactions, never being used up itself. How nice that would be. Today is dedicated to the times in my memory that I hesitated, never sure of what to do in a given situation, praying that if I only had a catalyst to drive progress forward, to bail me out from having to take the first step, I'd be fine. This is a great way to never get anything done. Many worthwhile things have big barriers to overcome, ones that we ourselves have to summon the energy and courage to overcome, even without a catalyst in sight. It seems this is a lesson I will continue to learn even into adulthood.
Today's post began entirely as Andy's idea and, despite the graveness of his own thoughts on the subject, I couldn't help but take a slightly humorous approach to it. Basically the piece of music is like a Romantic piano concerto (leaping off from yesterday's 19th Century references), where we've somehow gotten stuck in the introduction. No actual music seems to come in at any point.
But my music-humor aside, like Andy I've had many instances where I seemed to stand in place, frozen and needing something to shove me forward. One particular example, three years of living across the country from my wife, seemed to drag me emotionally through the mud in every way imaginable. Yet, that lack of catalyst (and hence my lack of proactive problem solving), somehow sewed the seeds for a far stronger marriage and today I wouldn't trade one day of those three years. So, I suppose, sometimes that lack of catalyst is precisely what we need, impossible as it may be at the time to recognize it.