On Life

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist, that is all.

Oscar Wilde

The absence of life isn’t death, but existence. Mary Oliver once asked, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” I ask the same of you now. What will you do with your aliveness, live or exist? Simple existence is reserved for those who take no sides, those who stay silent amidst conflict. It is reserved for those who do not care, because it is easier–it is safer–not to.

I do not claim that I am living anything besides existence–I, too, am silent; I, too, convince myself of not caring to avoid any sort of pain. The fear of pain is pain enough for me. However, there are things I do live. I live through listening to the whisper of trees, feeling the pulse of the sun, seeing the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane. Humans are not black and white: you can live in one way, but exist in another. At least that is what I believe; that is what comforts me.

I exist in the human world, but live in the natural. Is such a thing possible? Can we live in one world and exist in another, simultaneously? I have not settled for a label of existence in any which way, I am striving to live everything, even the pain. It is a struggle and it is slow, but it is happening. I’m not sure what I plan to do with my one wild and precious life, but I do commit to living it in the best way I know: being who I know am to be. After all, that is all I can do and all I know for some kind of certain.


On Worlds

“I thought: I cannot bear this world a moment longer.

Then, child, make another.

– Madeleine Miller, Circe

“To create one’s own world takes courage,” or so said the artist Georgia O’Keefe, whose white rose will be infinitely spiraling in my memory–it’s endless folds and hidden pathways. The world is a lot like that: spirals and obscured turns. I think creating a world, any world, is more than courage. But I’m not sure what that more is. Can all people create worlds? Should worlds be created, or must this one be lived? Should we find the beauty here, create our own beauty here, instead of looking outside? Must unhappiness be lived?

I ask with the intention to discover an answer, not to answer these questions myself. If I experience unbearableness, can I create something bearable? Perhaps I should not be posing these inquiries unless I have lived something that must be undone and done again, but then I’ve always desired to have a “just in case” solution for what I can.

But I digress. What is that more than courage I claimed to be there? Maybe power, the power to anticipate each shrouded turn–each spiral–and what’s more, to unravel it; to make the pathway straight and clear. To identify the one pathway that is your own.