The holy men, the professors, the priests and the philosophers, they all advise us to accept what we have, light a candle to it, chant a blessing and then place our heads on the pillow and drift off to sleep.
I know there is wisdom to this. That in a cosmic and spiritual sense, it is good and right and in part, essential for our well-being. But I also know that it has rarely, if ever, worked for me.
The issue draws a line in the sand we all have to contemplate, at one point or another. When do we accept our place in the world, our position and accomplishments as the way it is supposed to be — as good enough– and when do we swim against the tides, run into the headwinds, reject the sermons and — even when we know we have so much to be thankful for– demand even more?
I keep demanding. Not of government or of others but of myself. Yes, I can take joy and pride in the blessings I have (and they are considerable) but it keeps pressing on me to reach higher, to think smarter, to arrive at a breakthrough that brings me to a new and unexplored dimension. Each time I believe that I have done something important, the glow fades quickly, only to be replaced by the need to accomplish something far more significant.
I don’t say this with pride. In fact, I understand that there is something unappreciative in this failure to accept. When one has been blessed to the level I have been, I know that needing more, driving myself to achieve it, saying that I will never accept, is ungrateful and even worse. But then the sun rises, I hike with my dog Sky and I think, I ponder, I dream: how do I climb up from here?
I’m sure that shrinks would have a field day with this but I don’t give a damn. I can’t seem to put my emotions, my time on earth, my precious gift of life, in a tidy little box, flip on the TV, open a bottle of wine, and say “All is fine.”
It is but I can’t seem to be satisfied with that. The energy that wells up through my mind and body keeps upping the ante, searching for more, keeping me restless, bored with details, searching everywhere for what, in all likelihood does not exist: a sense that I have fulfilled my obligation and my dream of creating a body of work that endures. That has true meaning. That inspires and motivates others for generations to come.
I cannot simply take up space. I cannot simply accept. I will not stop. I will not rest.
If this is a blessing or a curse, if this is catalyst or a conceit, well that’s for the wise men to contemplate.
For me, it’s just an exhilreating reality.Email This Post