Tag Archives: peace

Why Do I Write?

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Incredible, isn’t it—that we are able to explain what the mind imagines with a pen or keyboard? If you think about it, there is a hell of a lot of time and space between our brain and our fingertips. I like to think that extra distance is a gift. I’m able to express thoughts and ideas in a way I am not capable otherwise; streaming out the words one by one with clarity and conviction much like a fierce water current.

Often my writing serves as a form of therapy. My mind is a churning, boiling pot of thoughts and providing it with a point of focus allows steam to escape through to freedom. A break from the constant sloshing, I like how my writing seems to keep me in the present moment. Recently, I was introduced to a quote from Lao Tzu that says, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Even if I’m writing about a memory from the past or an idea about the future, my brain chooses to focus on the words. I focus on the way in which I sew them together, the art of writing. And so I stay in my skin, in my body, in the chair I sit. In the moment. Focus for a busy brain is like the sensation felt after removing a heavy backpack from one’s shoulders: relief.

Writing is my friend, my colleague and my coach. It reminds me that I’m intelligent, thoughtful and authentic. It challenges me to be bold, to take chances, to be creative and to have a voice when my vocal chords fail me. It teaches me lessons about life, about others, about myself while bathing me in sunlight and pouring water down into my roots; forever supporting and encouraging my stalk to grow taller.

Writing gives me the opportunity to feel like I’m serving a greater purpose. If I fold my genuine, honest, passionate and love-filled work into a paper airplane and send it flying out into the universe, I feel that for the most part only good things can come from it. I aim to see it as I’m doing my part to spread good in the world no matter how small or insignificant I feel at times.

Happiness is found in the thrill of stringing the right words together to mean exactly what I’m thinking, in an artfully crafted fashion. It is in the smug smile brought to my mouth after using a word correctly based on its definition before I’ve checked it on dictionary.com. Happiness is in the eternal hope that another person may feel something from words on a page. From my words.

If you think about it, there is a hell of a lot of time and space between my words on a page and the brain of another human being. Incredible, isn’t it—the idea that my own creation could be the source of inspiration in another, given the distance?

 

-CS

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The Pursuit

How do people measure self worth and the worth of others? Is it measured by how much one has contributed to their community or to society as a whole? Number of friends? The amount of money in a bank account? The number of languages one can speak? The number of beautiful, traveled places one has seen? Perhaps, the amount of love and understanding one has given?

Happiness, success, peace; together these ideas become a framework for greatness. Individually, each have different meanings for different people. Are they something to strive for in a way as to attain an overall state of being when we reach a certain age? Or are they feelings we experience from single moment to moment spanning the timeline that is our life? Combination of both?

What does greatness mean to me? Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I find myself worrying that I’m not doing the right things, or the right things quick enough in order to achieve my greatness; greatness always being a vague concept with no legitimate target at which to aim my arrow. As if one day I’m supposed to wake up and feel like I’ve made it—*Opens eyes, sits up in bed, raises fist in the air, exclaims: I am finally the person I’ve been working my entire life to be! Sounds silly doesn’t it?

The older I get, the more often I feel as if I’m starting over. Like if my life were a novel, as my story progresses, there are increasingly more and more chapters. More beginnings and endings. More answers, but always the uncovering of more questions. I have a very strong sense of self and yet I feel as if I’m destined [or doomed—if you’re a glass half empty guy or gal] to walk a path of self discovery for the remainder of my days. Can greatness be achieved by someone like me? Is it within my wide eyed wandering that I find it?

I have been taught, I have been guided and I have been molded. But I have learned with my head in a book, I have carved my own walking stick and I have picked clay from beneath my finger nails. I cannot be anything other than what I am. I do not choose to be. I choose to grow. Let me be me. Let me be orange and yellow and red, but let me brighten my petals. Let me catch fire. At the end of this life, the only thing I take with me is my soul. Let my soul be vivid.

-CS