Do you know what your purpose is in this life?
I reread that and it sounds as though I believe I get more than one life. There are theories about reincarnation, but none of us can know for sure until we die. Personally, the way nature works, dying back and spring forth in bloom again, makes me believe that there is a similar function in souls. Think about that: cycles for a soul. A strand of DNA or a solar system, spiraling out into space.
I don’t know what to believe but I want there to be more than one chance to get it right. I do. That’s because I’m not getting it right. I’m living the life I’m supposed to be living instead of the one I was born to live.
Does that make sense?
What do you do that you know you’re supposed to do?
Well, I brush my teeth and clean out litter boxes. I serve my community by tutoring, something I did without pay for twelve years before I finally got a job doing it for a little bit of money. I cook real food. I think real food is important. Because Mike earns most of the money in the household, I clean and run errands and try to keep up with the people I need to hire to fix things that we can’t fix ourselves.
And generally, my life of doing what I’m supposed to do is a good one. Generally.
But I have a creative streak through me that doesn’t want to look at a clock, that needs to dawdle over words. Oh, I try to make that come into work with me. It’s lovely how our group of tutors now argue over pronunciation or origins of vocabulary words we.
Today, we argued over the root of ‘abracadabra.’ One guy thought it wasn’t even a real word. I found it in the dictionary where it said it had Latin roots and two meanings.
“I will create as I speak,” another tutor said. “That’s its translation.”
And somehow, we talked over her for a little while. Why am I the expert? I have a good vocabulary, but not the best one in the room. Obviously.
Because I just now looked it up on the Internet and she was right. And there’s another potential root that says, ‘perish like the word.’ Isn’t that just lovely? It’s almost as if the two roots have a cycle themselves that involves creation and death.
And that’s what I’m here to think about: creation, meaning, and death.
I told you that I thought I could die back in September, didn’t I? I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. When I felt like I really could die, there came a sadness over me: I had not finished my work, my stories.
Yeah, existential angst.
And I haven’t quite gotten over that dread that I could die before I finish what I was put here to do.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I will continue to take care of my family. I am so blessed to have these people. I am so blessed to be able to care for them. They love me.
Nick leaned over the cat last night for a hug. He does that and once he goes to college, I’m afraid there will be a hole in his daily life where the cats once were. But then, he scooched over and leaned on me for a hug. He buried his head in my shoulder and held me. I can’t tell you how much I needed that yesterday. It was lovely and he knew it. My boy is growing up.
But since my boy is growing up, I’ve needed to refocus and the words came back with a sense of urgency. I’m getting older. Creativity. I used to play the piano as a creative outlet. Then, I took almost all the art classes my local community college offered. Now, it’s words and I’m not done until I’m done. I get that. When I was about to pass out because I wasn’t getting enough air, that was the thought that made me feel incomplete.
Now that I’m feeling better, I’m still messing up. Yesterday, I watched three and a half episodes of ‘Call the Midwife’ on Netflix. It’s good. It really is. Before that, I watched a whole season of ‘Russian Doll.’ I loved it. Netflix is awesome!
But when I got up afterward, I felt emptier than when I sat down to reward myself.
So, I bought a book called Sanctuary by Gloria Burgess. In it, she asks what I feel I ought to do compared to what might renew me.
Yes. What do you need to do so you can do what you’re supposed to do?
What makes you feel as if you can go out and help others again?
That was what I was missing. Every day, I felt obligated to either sit at my computer or clean something. There was no time for renewal. None.
Am I going to get to work and finish my work?
I’m going to play for a few days. I’m going to play with words, take long walks, look into depth of the sky, search for art. I’m going to turn off the TV, as much as I like the shows, and see if I don’t feel more refreshed when I get up than I do when I wait to be entertained.
Feed your soul.
Then, you can feed others.
Thank you for listening, jules