Carpe The Heck Out Of Diem.

Carpe The Heck Out Of Diem.

I’ve been thinking about passion, lately. And finding mine.
I am up late on Saturday night.. I’ve just come from drinks with new friends.
(Diet Coke for me, thanks.)
I stopped at the grocery store for more fixings for tomorrow’s Argentina adventure.
(Pick N’ Save at 1:00a.m. is one of the most perfect places on the planet)
I am to get up early, on daylight savings day, and begin cooking lunch..
Probably a 3 hour venture.(or more)

But my thoughts go to passion.. And finding light..
And filling time with good people, and great conversation..
And worrying sometimes about not being enough.
About what to say when I describe myself.
When what, pray tell, does a description of me really matter?

I am excited to see art, and meet people, and run, and sing.
And create, and include, and invite..
And to be open to all sorts of new and exciting things.

New friends that seem like they might be long friends..
And good food, and drink.
And music..(Tegan and Sara)
And comedy.. (Nick Offerman)
And theater..(Rep Lab at The Milwaukee Rep)(Broadway’s Sister Act)
And art..(Color Rush: 75 years of photography)

I am busy with life, and I am thrilled.

The high school commencement speech for the Wellesley High School class of 2012 was more than inspiring for me.
Here is an excerpt before I bed myself. (i’ve got a big day tomorrow!)

“As you commence, then, and before you scatter to the winds, I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in any more than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about, lest you too find yourself on the wrong side of a Baltimore Orioles comparison. Resist the easy comforts of complacency, the specious glitter of materialism, the narcotic paralysis of self-satisfaction. Be worthy of your advantages. And read‚Ķ read all the time‚Ķ read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life. Develop and protect a moral sensibility and demonstrate the character to apply it. Dream big. Work hard. Think for yourself. Love everything you love, everyone you love, with all your might. And do so, please, with a sense of urgency, for every tick of the clock subtracts from fewer and fewer; and as surely as there are commencements there are cessations, and you’ll be in no condition to enjoy the ceremony attendant to that eventuality no matter how delightful the afternoon.

The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-quite an active verb, “pursuit”-which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. Locally, someone‚Ķ I forget who‚Ķ from time to time encourages young scholars to carpe the heck out of the diem. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands. (Now, before you dash off and get your YOLO tattoo, let me point out the illogic of that trendy little expression-because you can and should live not merely once, but every day of your life. Rather than You Only Live Once, it should be You Live Only Once‚Ķ but because YLOO doesn’t have the same ring, we shrug and decide it doesn’t matter.)

None of this day-seizing, though, this YLOOing, should be interpreted as license for self-indulgence. Like accolades ought to be, the fulfilled life is a consequence, a gratifying byproduct. It’s what happens when you’re thinking about more important things. Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. Go to Paris to be in Paris, not to cross it off your list and congratulate yourself for being worldly. Exercise free will and creative, independent thought not for the satisfactions they will bring you, but for the good they will do others, the rest of the 6.8 billion-and those who will follow them. And then you too will discover the great and curious truth of the human experience is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself. The sweetest joys of life, then, come only with the recognition that you’re not special.

Because everyone is.

Congratulations. Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.”