You have one life to live. What to make of it, then?
Moral / celebratory?
Intense / relaxed?
Memorable / anonymous?
How about a lifetime’s worth of adjectives for life, discovered by you by experience, instead of compiling a list from the beginning, that linear construct? How about being okay with competing and contradictory descriptors — a non-seamless life, a grey hodgepodge, a sluff, a slog?
You have “the Life” as the hero has “the Journey” — the whole enlivened thing is between you and yourself — you the human incarnate, yourself the creator that has fleshed you into existence.
You lean your body into the membrane which is your life, push it, weave it, give it shape, give it stories, and then you perish. No more pushing and pulling.
It’s as if the life is the sculpture of brutal reality, really raw, really big. It’s as if we create very tall tales of ourselves with our actions, earthbound to the sky, such are our ideas and dreams emanating from our magical brains. Sometimes it feels like shadowboxing, beating the clarity of the membrane, trying to steer it to avenues yet untrod.
Here is the life lain out this morning. It is yours as far back as your most accurate thought so long ago, and the inaccurate thoughts also, and the misreadings and misinterpretations, the whole damn unwritten autobiography, the remembered corpus, with islands of written detritus popping up through the continuum of years.
And from this continuum: ideas fleshed out from the leaders of culture (Paz, Lennon, Tolstoy, Baldwin, Picasso et al.) whom stretch our mind’s boundaries.
But remember too, you yourself are a citizen of culture, hence you really must stretch your own boundaries, with all the means of expression and communication at your disposal.
You are the poet in potentiality. The sculptor in waiting.
Happy new year, 2011 on the recording,
Beacon Hill, Seattle, Washington State USA