I get asked, “Why do you do all that?” The person asking is usually looking at my crafts or my writing when they ask the question, and I answer with some variant of, “This is my passion and I make time for it.”
What I really want to ask is, “Why aren’t you?”
The boxes of life that Richard Nelson Bolles talks about in his book The Three Boxes of Life and How to Get Out of Them are arbitrary. We create them, collectively, and we accept them, individually. But when we take a step back and stop to reconsider where we’re headed, we can get out of them.
Stephen Covey said once that you fight and claw your way up the ladder of success, only to find the ladder is on the wrong wall. I use that anecdote liberally in my essays and when I teach and am continually puzzled that its message doesn’t fill others with the same dread it fills me. Why wouldn’t we care that we are wasting the days given to us? Why wouldn’t we make changes?
Because we feel disempowered and blocked, not to put too fine a point on it. We don’t do all that, because we believe we can’t do all that – we don’t have the time, the talent, or the permission.
This breaks my heart.
So what I’m really saying in these Sunday essays is this: take up your pen, Dear Reader, or the paint brush, tap shoes, clay, or whatever is in your heart to do, and do it.
Beginning has grace and power in it. Goethe was right.