And why are we joyful? Because this is who we are? This is how the gods designed us to be. Producers. Makers. Artists. Effective.*
I found that what I had desired all my life was not to live—if what others are doing is called living—but to express myself.**
We can mistakenly focus on what we haven’t got rather than what we have.
The result is that we bury an awful lot of interesting things. I know because this is my work. In every person I meet there’re incredible things life had entrusted them with. These are uncovered in our conversations and I find myself wondering whether they will value and give expression to them.
This morning I read a short blog post from Steven Pressfield telling of how fame and wealth and all that go with them are of no interest to him:
The only thing that allows me to sit quietly in the evening is the completion of a worthy day’s work. What work? The labour of entering my imagination and trying to come back out with something that is worthy both of my own time and effort and of the time and effort of my brothers and sisters to read it or watch it or listen to it.^
Pressfield’s words resonate because of my work as it plays with two questions: Who am I? and What is my work (or contribution, not job)?, the latter carrying the understanding that our best work benefits others. He continues, describing the asymmetrical nature of this work, disrupting both ourselves and others:
I’m not saying this way of life is wholesome or balanced. It isn’t. It’s certainly not “normal.” By no means would I recommend it as a course to emulate.^
This kind of work is unreasonable, but it is, as Henry Miller has it in the opening to this post, the truest expression of our lives.
We know there’re easier ways to walk and work, but there still remains the thing we must give shape or form to most of all:
Nor did I choose this path for myself, either consciously or deliberately. I came to it at the end of a long dark tunnel and then only as the last recourse, the thing I’d been avoiding all my life.^
Listen to your life. Value it for the amazing thing it is, all it contains, and may you come to the moment when to move towards the fullest expression of your life is easier than avoiding it.
(*From gapingvoid’s blog: Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.)
(**Henry Miller, quoted by Steven Pressfield in his gapingvoid blog: What works and what doesn’t.)
(^From Steven Pressfield’s gapingvoid blog post: What works and what doesn’t.)