Monday, April 19, 2010

Nineteen. This is your life.

I was recently asked to complete a sentence by filling in the blank:

"Life is __________; the world is ___________."

The purpose was to make this the topic of an essay. And I thought for a long, long time. "Life is a sentence, art is a novel". I would write about how each sentence is infinitely different from the last. Different font, different colour, different sentence structure, different language. Yet each life comes together to form this great novel. And only when each sentence stops thinking that it is the most important sentence in the whole book and accepts the fact that it must exist in harmony with the following and preceding sentences does anything work. And I would write about how some sentences contain too much filler, dragging on and on, the sentence itself seeming to think that its existence is pointless. Others, short. Yet deeply more profound, hiding something remarkable just beneath the surface...

...neh. Didn't go with that one.

"Life is an instrument; the world is an orchestra". Every musician may think she is the most important, many in envy of the first chairs, whom get all the solos they want and whose names everyone knows. But without the rest of the orchestra, the soloist would be nothing. Each musician would get out of his instrument as much as he put into it. The more dedication she puts into practicing, the bigger the payoffs. The more passion with which she plays, the more lovely the music. The more love she has for her instrument, the more love she can spread by using it. And she spreads it with her instrument just as her neighbor spreads love with his, be he a violinist or a trombonist or a percussionist or the world's best kazoo artist. Every musician has her own instrument, every musician from a different background, and when all is said and done, none of that matters. All that matters is that we can all be here, now, and create something beautiful together.

....didn't go with that one, either.

I thought of so many possibilities to fill in those blanks. What I realized is that they should be left as just that. Blanks. And I decided to drop the second half of the sentence and focus on the first: "Life is". And it is. That is all it has to be. Life is what you make of it. You can leave it like that, decide that life is, and there is nothing you can do to change that, and decide to simply BE. Or you can embrace the simplicity and the freedom that comes with it. Life is. Life is yours to define. Life is yours to live and to love and to cherish. 

This is your life. Live it like you love it.

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