70. The Art Of ...

Life is always unfolding and it will continue to reveal things to you as you get older. Some of these things may have always been there but you somehow missed, misunderstood or did not pay close enough attention to, to see them. Getting older has its drawbacks, but it too has a few advantages so it is important to utilize those advantages when they present themselves. Many people I know think they have "a good life" and maybe they do, but as I've grown older my standards of what "a good life" entails continues to be challenged and continues to change. The last couple of years, my life has been challenging in some difficult and unexpected ways and among the things this has revealed to me is I have an awareness of a lack of something deep and essential in my life.

A question occurred to me the other day--what does it mean to be alive? I’m not talking about being a living, breathing creature, but to be fully alive, to be fully connected to your self, to all of Nature and to all of Being. Some people may never experience this, but being in the arts I've been fortunate enough to have had the experience of being fully alive (or at least what I take to be being fully alive). It seems to begin with a connection inside of me, as it emanates from a place from deep within. The deeper question is: what is it, where does it come from, or more importantly--how do you get there?

I may not understand this well enough to convey what I'm seeking, but I think being fully alive is an art form. Being fully alive requires being present and sincere. It too is something we learn from the original life we are given, the life we live and the life we make from this original life. I find it easier to connect within my self when I'm alone and certainly time alone for a writer is important. However, we are a society and we interact with people. If you are being fully alive, fully present, deeply sincere and the person or people you are interacting with are not fully present--can you remain fully present? Or do you meet them at their level of presence? When we are with others, do we individually make the level of presence or do we simply participate in a generic level of presence communally made? Or is the level of presence and sincerity in our culture so low, so limited and so restrained we have trouble discovering, understanding and connecting with our own presence and sincerity?

originally posted May 2017
reposted March 2018

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