Yes, words have power. And we should treat them responsibly. And a word only has the power you give to it. If a word (or a brush stroke) can so easily shatter the foundations of your belief system, it is not the word that is the problem. It's your fear of losing your belief system, your fear of a crack in the wall, that's the problem. It is not even your flawed belief system that is the problem, it is your overdependence on your belief system's infallibility.
If I knew the way, I would take you home...Perhaps the only help I’m able to give you about this is to let you know that I know what it’s like. That I’ve been there. That I’ll undoubtedly be there again. That when you are there, isolated from the whole world, you are not actually alone. That there are people, things, a world surrounding you, holding you up, laying you down, covering you with blankets, massaging your feet.
Once there was a boy named Time. He grew up like most kids, meandering, playing ball, chasing cats, eating his vegetables. He learned by exploring the things around him, came to know himself in relation to these things. He paid little attention to grown-ups and their efforts to build fences for him, schedule their lives around him.
For some, the ocean is a mirror of our hearts: wild, restless, unyielding, untamable, unknowable. In that reflection there is both inspiration and terror. To admit that our own hearts are unknowable, despite a lifetime of effort, is more than a little daunting. And also, we know we must try.
We assign meaning, usually without knowing we are doing it. But we can change that. We can set about to be conscious of the unique fingerprint of our own world of meaning. I won't pretend to know all the ways we create meaning or all the ways that each of you will discover how you create your own. But here are five ideas for consciously crafting your own meanings.
To write is to live inside a dream. To be the dreamer and the dream. To live in a limitless world of seamless dimensions. Writing and dreaming share the same helix. Both speak in metaphors and navigate by feel.
The world is neither this thing nor that thing. It is not our ideas of how it is or of how it should be. The world is the world. Like love, the world contains all possibilities. All darks and lights, all ups and downs, all rainbows of doubt and joy, hardship and pleasure. But I want you to forget all that.
Your job is to find beauty.
These endless lists of things we are forever updating, these imaginary enemies we drag around with us, these pieces of identity we hold on to for so long we forget they are there. These are the things that keep us from ourselves.
And yet somehow, somehow, you will find a different set of days. In those days, the sun will be warm on your skin. Though there will still be a few clouds, just enough to allow the colors all around you to reveal themselves. And your world will be saturated with beauty.
Each day asks this of us. That we show up. And nothing more. No hiding beneath the covers. No resting on laurels. No reaching for back issues. No sitting on the bench. No calling in sick. No need to save the world.