“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”—Norman Cousins
I have a daily struggle with myself and the little box of hopes and dreams that rests in my chest. This box holds every bright idea I’ve had, every storyline I’ve created and every fantasy scenario I whip up in my head. Frustration builds when I CANNOT carve a time and space to write. The thoughts and feelings and characters that dance in my busy brain get louder and louder (no, I don’t need a shrink) and then my frustration builds. As a military wife and a mom of two young children, my priorities day to day is family, then the house, then me. It’s typical, I’m not complaining, but after a few days or weeks of this, I think of my blog, my unfinished novel, the second draft of another novel, my screenplay that was critiqued and sitting (which I’m going to eventually put in novel format), my personal journals etc. The frustration builds and I have to let off the steam from my literary creative juices.
I’ve often told my husband that I wish that I didn’t feel the NEED or WANT to write. It’s there in my DNA and I can’t extract it. If I did, my home would be spotless, my body would be oogle-worthy and healthier and my children would be playing extravagant classical music on a violin or piano. But, when one desire tips the focus away from other things, someone or something will suffer. Ideally, I would live in a library. Read, write, read, write, have a snack then read and write again.
With this plopped on cyber paper, I’m off to reconnect with the novel that waits like a hungry, ignored child. “Mommy! I want you! Play with me!” (In the meantime, I've fed my child fruit, tied her blanket on like a super hero cape, made her a ham sandwich and refilled my coffee twice--clock is ticking as my real kid is asking me to sit with her, NOW!)
The above quote by Norman Cousins struck a huge chord in me. I heard it at my cousin’s law school graduation last week. As I sat among family in the beautiful Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park, I was touched by the keynote speakers, a successful duo of father and son. I can’t recall if the son or the father said this, but a few times "he" reiterated that “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
I feel most akin to people who strive daily to live their dream, whether that be music, writing, art or even being a better parent! When I see that they have kept that little box in their chest alive, open and free to express itself, then I feel like I should too. I don’t say that I wish that I didn’t need or want to write anymore, because it’s something that is inherently part of me, my identity and my future. All I can do is jump in with both feet and do what I do.
Words excite me. Being a wordsmith intrigues me. Creating worlds and moving mountains with a page of text exhilarates my soul.
Thanks for allowing me to share…and here is Gotye's Eyes Wide Open which pretty much reflects that I don't want to regret not living a meaningful, true life.
"We walk the plank with our eyes wide open."--Gotye