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current state: living in the italics.

31 January 2011

david bowie quote

“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.” 

— Bill Watterson, most notably the creator of Calvin and Hobbes

*        *        *       *       *

i find myself, these days, taking the opportunity to live in the italics.

attempting to create a life that not only satisfies but nourishes my soul, uncovering and developing my anima.

a life that reflects values, not only in the connotation that this word typically possesses in our polarized society (morally), but in the larger idea that my life would reflect the things that are of intrinsic worth and desire; the evidence of which can be plainly seen by the way my time is filled and the output of my plantings, not solely by the things i only say that are important.

this is a deciding, a reshaping, a shifting constantly in response to appropriate priorities and influences, not a one time declaration of value.

it takes thoughtful time, amidst a cultural current that seems to trend so strongly in an alternate direction in actuality while professing these same ideals theoretically.

it’s a strange place to be nowhere specifically, but more in motion, made awkward only when explaining to quizzical faces why you left a concrete place for one that doesn’t yet exist.

it makes sense to me.

to my family.

to my husband.

and to herman melville, who said about journeys and places that “it is not down on any map; true places never are.”

*        *        *       *       *

so often i turn to the words of others to accurately sum up what i’m thinking, particularly when i feel my own words are meandering and ethereal, like verbal cotton candy which leaves an impression but seems to dissolve into nothing just as quickly as it appeared.

so, what am i really trying to say?

in the immortal words of the wise david bowie:

“I don’t know where I’m going from here,
but I promise it won’t be boring.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 31 January 2011 4:35 pm

    Exactly. Linking to this!

  2. garrett permalink
    31 January 2011 6:18 pm

    I think if you can figure this out for yourself then you are way ahead of the game. It is tough to feel ok seeking out things that make you intrinsically happy in a society like this.

    Don’t give in to the man! Find what makes you happy and screw the rest! (well maybe not everything)

  3. 31 January 2011 9:33 pm


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