The aide memoire

A gift is something for nothing except that certain obligations are attached.*
Robin Wall Kimmerer

In the most elegant complexity possible, everything in creation exists not for itself but for everything connected to it.**
Erwin McManus

Arthur Brooks has been helping me to move on
from fixating on a desire to be remembered
after I am gone,
To being a gift to others whilst I am here:

The true master, when his or her prestige is threatened by age or circumstance, can say, “Don’t you see that I am a person who could be utterly forgotten without batting an eye?”^

This sense of being a gift is captured by John O’Donohue’s blessing:

Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet
immensity of your own presence. …
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its

Whilst this may sound a solitary occupation,
it is anything but.
Even the introvert is part of a community,
A vast interconnectedness;
It’s just a different kind to the

Whilst I’ve been journaling this morning,
I have been accompanied the people in the footnotes, plus
Some Biblical writers,
Seth Godin,
Nick Cave,
Tom Vanderbilt,
Trishna Singh,
Lynda Barry,
James Clear, and
Angela Duckworth.

Lewis Hyde reminds me,
To be the gift to others
is more than simply the thing we offer,
It is also spirit and community.*^

And the aide memoire?
That’s me,
Helping you remember what a
gift you are.

*Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass;
**Erwin McManus’ The Way of the Warrior;
^Arthur Brooks’ From Strength to Strength;
^^John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For Presence;
*^Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.

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