Sunday, April 20, 2014

Redolent with possibility

For Alvin, who inspires me and for Paul, who makes me a better person.


It's hard to imagine what it is like to live in an environment where you don't have the weather to mark the passage of time. Seasons rise and fall in Michigan, none more so on the thumping, wet, cold darkness of Winter and none more delightful than the brilliant rays of the sun in Spring. We emerge, hunkered down from holding on through the most bone-chilling weeks of near desperation to a sky blazing blue and redolent with golden light. And for those months of light, we don't look at the sun as an advantage, we relish it. Seattle is like this too, as is Portland and all other climates I've lived in where people are deprived of the nectar of light. It's delicious beyond belief. It gives us pause. It renews us on a cellular level.

There's a lesson in this renewal, one subtle but worth exploration in trying to clear out the mental models that stand in our way. I sat at a bar the other night and explained to a friend how incredibly horrified I am of growing old, that there is something inside of me that shudders when I think of aging; that not enough of my life has been lived, that whatever shreds of youth I have had left will leave quickly, that I will never have again the time that I squandered when I was young. In my brain, this causes an odd inertia. I drag my feet, like some 3 year old who wanders the room because he doesn't want to leave, hoping time will stop or slow down.

But this year feels different.  Everything feels like it wants to be new. Clicking off miles on my walk to and from work, new skincare, new sunscreen, new bright running shoes on my feet, new music curated by friends, new writing, new reading, new perfume on my wrist, new, new, new.

More new this year than last. This year is about choices. This year is about vision. This year is about bursting with creative ideas, about curating again, about feeling the current of aliveness from discovery. It's the act of assembling and reassembling the parts to find the best combination. It's about paying attention to the little things as well as the big things. It's about being in it, swimming in it. It's about paying attention, having an avocation or two that sharpens your eye. Boldness and subtlety. Braveness and humility. Not being hamstrung by anything. Loving the process and expecting amazing outcomes. Humming at the cellular level with something that stirs your very soul and marrow. To choose to be alive in a fundamentally exciting way, to live a life powerfully evocative.

I love this feeling. I wish I could bottle it, the possibility of it all. In these moments, I often think of my friend Alvin and his ability to keep it fresh, moving, thoughtful; how he is always turning the dial just a bit to find the right frequency. Or my friend Paul whose practice of reflection and personal editing is not a task, but an essential part of his being. And Annie, and Sharleen, and Nicole. All of these people who have curated lives that are rich with interest and possibility. They remind me of how resplendent with interest the world is, how positive and alive it can be when your creative side gets to lead.

How to keep this feeling alive? How to carve out the time for energizing work? How to construct the next stage of life so that the cellular hum remains? Intention, focus, space, opportunity, running lanes, collaboration, courage, joy, choice. Yes.

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