Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Wild and Precious Life

"What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

I had a dream last week... I was dancing alone in the night. Extending my hand into the darkness, a tiny light suddenly appeared at my fingertips. Tiny as it was, it illuminated many things both real and imagined. My slippered foot extended toward it, sending my whole body arching into the light which then became a part of me. Thus filled, I turned and reached out once more, touching into existence a new light I again stepped into.

I don't often remember my dreams, but this one lingered beyond my waking moments and into the days to come.

"What will you do with your one wild and precious life?"

Mary Oliver poses a great question, and a timely one. Here we are at the turn of another year... a time dedicated to introspection that for many of us is philosophical and existential in nature. Why are we here? What does it all mean? What are we to make of our time upon- in the words of Maya Angelou- "this miniscule and kithless globe"?

I too dwell on these ideas, though my focus of late has been elsewhere. For regardless of what we think, how we feel and what we make it all mean, our lives are the result not of our thoughts, but of the actions we take.

That's not to say that there is no merit to consideration. As Socrates famously noted, an unexamined life is not worth living. But to examine a life, we must first create a life. Otherwise we are left considering a performance scripted by others both known and unknown to us, where we are often unwilling and unwitting players.

It is our opportunity, it is our gift, to create lives of our own design. Certainly we begin by imagining our goals, dreams, and desires. But then we must take action, stepping boldly and bravely into their light, lest they remain in the darkness of what could have been.

Wishing you all a wild and precious adventure for 2011 and beyond!