I was lazily dreamy the other day, thinking as usual about my life – this is a constant musing for me – how to make my life better, more exciting, more meaningful.
It’s daunting – there is a strong dichotomy in me – the one side being the free, joyous vagabond, and the other being the hard-working, focused, serious activist.
A balance between these two is difficult – it’s hard to be enamoured with beauty at all times when there are horrors aplenty around – and I don’t want to ignore them. So how do I choose?
I try to remain an optimist, but there are times when I just feel there is no hope for the world.
So during my lazing in bed that morning, I thought – “How can I make the most of my life while still doing something worthwhile for other people? AND stay happy?”
I thought about what made life beautiful for me, and what I realized was it was words – they may be fictional or not, but they have the power to do so much – distract, inspire, teach. Almost all my passions came about because of something I read, at some point. They may get me to notice something out there that I never would have seen or appreciated, or they may delight me enough to try something new, or they may spark other passions I never would have dreamed of.
I’ve had a love of writing and memoir and fiction since I was a tiny child – I spent hours as a kid writing at the typewriter, and hours as a teenager in the computer lab at school. I would sometimes stay until 9pm when the school closed completely, because I had nothing at home to use. When I was in grade 8 I started my first novel, of which I hand-wrote 130 or so pages, and let my friends read. I’ve written many zines, and several short stories, one of which was edited by favourite writer at the time (Storm Constantine) and featured on her webzine.
The only consistent thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer (as well as a surfer). Sometimes it seems like such an unimportant goal in the grand scheme of things (plus everyone seems to want to write something and call themselves an author) – but this world needs more beauty. Especially coming from individual people – there is so much acid and bile and wastefulness from the majority – to spread beauty through passion is of utmost importance!
And so I decided to dedicate myself to this pursuit of beauty. To immerse myself in it. The same importance can be put on music, art, film – but it should be a singular, intense passion, or the work will not be inspiring. Anything can be of inspiration if there is insane dedication and bliss behind it.
What is your obsessive passion? I want to know. Do you spend the majority of your day doing that? I must spend my days writing and reading, or I become increasingly unhappy – this is clearer to me all the time. My clarity increases the healthier I am, but unless I am focused on the things that fill my soul, health is a dead end. It would be like traveling to a faraway place, only to get there and say, “Okay, time to go back” instead of enjoying the result of arrival. Doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, but better to enjoy the outcome as much as possible!
The more I write, the more I love it. The more I read, the more I want to read. It’s constant inspiration. It’s necessary. And so people need constant beauty around them to remind them that life IS worth living, if only for the splendor of their surroundings, the creations of others, and the hope that may trickle through them as a result. Without hope and beauty, we’re doomed.
For some great writing books these are the ones I recommend.