Then it comes so clear to me: life is not what we leave behind. That’s history. Life is the living of it, in these moments when our hearts are beating in our chests, when our eyes gaze across the great beauties…
And my heart silently shifted back. Back to one who wants to believe again—even if that belief is somewhat fragile—in the making of marks on paper or canvas, just to be making marks.
“…it is a serious thing/just to be alive/on this fresh morning/in this broken world…” Mary Oliver
So to all of us I wish for a letting go of what no longer serves and an embrace of the unexpected, whether it seems good or bad in the moment. And I’ll take it one further: here’s to shingles, the gift I thought I didn’t want, the bit of real life that brought me back to who I am.
I have always felt safe in this vast solitude, living in pastureland cut from the old juniper and pinon forests long ago, out here among the coyotes and other wild things. Perhaps it’s offered something soothing to my own wild nature… On those pitch-black nights when there is no moon, with only the stars offering any sense of proportion, all of my nervous awkwardness falls away because I know who I am in those moments.
I began this morning challenging Joseph Campbell and his immortal words, words I’ve held as true for so long: “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” “Well, Joseph Campbell,” I wanted to scream, “… where are MY friggin’ open doors?”
Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good or are you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.