photo courtesy of stock exchange
"Anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you." Sweet Darkness David Whyte
Once again, I've been "lightning bolted" by bloggers. First, it was Alexandra, who quoted this line and posed the question, "What brings you alive?" So all day, I've been going about my usual Sunday business, and silently rating everything I've done. Did sitting in my favorite chair, bathed in sunlight, with hot coffee and the New York Times bring me alive? Did making brunch and watching Magic and Molly lick their lips on tiny bites of cheese omelets and croissants bring me alive? Did shopping for accessories to match the new carpet and furniture in my family room bring me alive?
The answer - in small ways, yes. Of course, the question really refers to much larger elements of life than the homely little things I was thinking about today. Things like relationships, spirituality, careers, lifestyles. So I began reflecting on those things and marking a mental report card on what in my life might be too small. The things that really make me alive - being with my family and friends, playing music and interacting with other musicians young and old, sharing ideas with interesting people, especially through writing and reading, and seeing new things through traveling. Things that are definitely too small - shuffling papers at the office, spending too much time doing shopping and household tasks, and living so far away from my son and daughter in law.
And then I read Susannah's post, and she wrote so beautifully about living life to it's fullest every day. She too posed a fascinating question - if this were your last day on earth, what would you do? As I began to think about that, I realized that the answers were the same ones I'd given for things that bring me to life, which makes perfect sense, doesn't it? I'd spend the day with my family and friends, make some wonderful music, read and write some wonderful words. I'd probably choose to do it all sitting on top of a mountain, overlooking the ocean, and sipping a glass of very good champagne.
So on the whole, I guess I feel pretty good about my life at the moment. At least I realize that the potential is there for most of my life to be filled with things that contribute to enliven me mentally and spiritually. These are also obviously the things that mean the most to me, since they would be the way I'd choose to spend my last day on earth. In my "alive time," I could probably appreciate a larger helping of traveling, and it would be nice if my portion of paper shuffling would decrease. And even though I don't like spending most of my time living far away from my son, at least I'm able to have another home near him and visit there often.
So this was a good, enlightening exercise for me today, and made me feel better about my life as a whole. Thanks, Alexandra and Susannah, for the inspiration, which I'm now passing along to all of you. How would you spend your last day on earth? What brings you AliVe???