We wake up just enough to stay woke but not enough to live. We live on hours and minutes and second hands, gas, and expressways. Espressos and Starbucks. From the bed to the car to the job, back to the car to the house and to the bed where we will lie down again so that we can wake up and exist again. Begin again. Breathe again. Boldly expecting these bodies to be there to back us up again. Do we ever back up? Can we stop? When was the last time you experienced something beautiful and told no one? Can we be beautiful without filter? Can we examine this breath? This gorgeous breath. This inhale and exhale. This miracle that is in us. Can we examine these lungs? Let the seconds and minutes and hours add up, can we forget about time? Let it pass. Watch the orange and yellow rays of the sun bleeding into the sky. Can we experience the day passing onto the next? Can we catch it moving? Can we listen to the sound of quiet? Do we even know if silence has a sound? Can we listen to the birds sing for hours at a time and let the leaves change and crumble into colors? Can we let the wind blow dust onto the windowsill, can peace be still? You have to wake up before you can stay woke. Can we live?
We always ask what the world can give us or rather what we can get out of the world, but what have we given the world? What are you doing with your time? Not in aspect of a career, or of education, or goals or livelihood but of life? What else have you given back to the world? Have you loved someone today? Have you loved yourself? Have you said anything nice today? Did someone need you today, can they count on you? What have you given back? Or what have you given in exchange for the breath that you breathe?
We bask in decisions we have already made and dance in the reward of work we have already put in. My unborn children are dancing circles around my womb. I am pregnant with goals that will give birth to the life they will one day live. Does the life you live today prepare you for the future? Have you ever wondered what makes up your final destination? Considered that the decisions you make today will determine the outcome of your life tomorrow. Or, to go deeper, that the decisions you make today will determine the outcome of my tomorrow? I am someone you do not know and you are someone I have never met, and yet the result of our decisions may very well cling onto one another as if torn from one flesh. What is my reward for being respectful today? For being considerate, for being mindful, or for being innovative. Will this be credited back to me? Can I depend on someone to love me when I am old and incapable and if so, how did I solidify that future today? Will my offspring reap the benefits of my labor? What eternal existence have we created out of the dust life birthed us with from the foundation of the world? Will we gather the elements of success into our hands so that we may mold the outcome of someone else’s future? Or will we allow the rains to devour that final taste of hope as if relinquishing our breaths to the sky in place of Noah’s ark.
Live this moment. It will soon be just a memory.
I heard this question in a movie once:
“Are you living, or are you existing?”
To this day, I find it to be one of the most thought provoking questions I’ve heard.
It’s good to take moments to evaluate how your life is going. You need to ask yourself constantly if you are truly living or just merely existing. Many people have found themselves more in the category of existing, rather than living, and sometimes, once they realize it, it’s too late to turn back.
I have existed in this world for a long time. I would talk about my dreams and goals and everything I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted it to play out. I had a great life on paper, but when I asked myself what I was doing to actually live that life? Nothing. In order to truly enjoy life, you have…
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“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty…. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” ― Arundhati Roy