Give It All Up
Give it all up,
hand it all over
to whoever it is
that makes the wind blow.
She knows better than you,
She knows better than me,
how life spins and turns and swoops.
living life one art project at a time
Wherever you have been all this time,
wandering the fog of your own thinking,
riding the sea of your self
through a dark, dark night -
to this pure field,
this place that never closes.
to this peace,
this light that never dims.
to this warmth,
this wholeness that can never be broken.
that wants more
no matter what.
There is no well deep enough
to quench it.
There is no rain hard enough
to cool it.
When you are parched and cracking,
when you are longing for anything
other than what you have,
imagine a cavern deep underground
gleaming with crystal,
glistening with gold.
Would you ever think to fill it?
I am reading the book The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. It’s a wild honest book about being a writer. I just read a particularly piercing question Dillard asks as a way to come at writing, and I wanted to share it with you because it could frame and focus a whole life:
“What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon?”
Dillard says to write as if you were dying, and she asks this question that I don’t believe any writer could ever really read without opening up a wide gaping pause after it.
But I think this question is begging to be made bigger:
“What would you begin doing if you knew you would die soon?”
Of course this is an age-old question—I am not the first one to ask it. But sometimes it gets tossed around, in one ear, out the other, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll think about that when I’m retired.”
But if you ask it, and ask it again, and do all you can to remember to keep asking it (every day, every hour, every minute), I believe your whole life will come into such clear, laser-beam focus that all you will be able to do is bow.
Thank you Annie Dillard.