March 10

In three words I can
sum up everything I've
learned about life:
It goes on.

Robert Frost


Today's Meditation:

Robert Frost was one of the world's most beloved poets not only because of his way with words, but also because of the ways that he looked at life and living.  There was vulnerability in his words, but there was plenty of strength, too.  He saw birch trees not just as amazing elements of nature, but as tools of fun, trees that one can climb and then ride down as the top bent gracefully towards the earth.  He was able to express in relatively few words what lesser writers like myself probably would need pages to explain.

It is is view on life that always has attracted me to Frost, and this summation of everything that he's learned about life force me to stop and think whenever things start going badly:  Life goes on.  When disaster hits or financial problems linger, life goes on.  When dreams don't come to pass and opportunities end up being squandered, life goes on.  Knowing that it goes on brings me comfort, for this fact also means something else:  this isn't the end.  No matter how bad I feel right now, it's not the end.  No matter how hopeless the future may seem, it's not the end.

And I extend Frost's words outward, away from my life:  we may be having difficulties now, but there are literally millions of people in this world who are going through much worse things than I'm dealing with, and they'll get by, for life goes on.  And if they can make it, so can I.  And when one day I stop breathing and die, life will continue to go on. . . . and what will I do about that?  Hopefully, I'll leave behind something positive that others may find useful in their own journeys through life.  And no matter how "vital" I consider myself in my current job, for example, I know that if I were to die tomorrow, life would go on and all the people I work with would be fine.  The humility that comes from such a realization serves me very well in keeping a healthy perspective.

"It goes on."  Everything that one of the keenest observers of life and the human condition learned while here on the planet about this experience we call "life" is summed up in three words.  How can those words be of benefit to you?

Questions to consider:

What do the words "life goes on" mean to you?  Do you live your life and make decisions based on that meaning?

Would we look at life differently if we thought that life wouldn't go on for some reason?  What might we change?

How often do we get into ruts when we think that life will somehow come to a stop if this job isn't done by tomorrow, or if this proposal isn't accepted, or if I don't get this job?

For further thought:

Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes.  Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly.  Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end.  What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.  Every moment is a golden one for those who have the vision to recognize it as such.

Henry Miller


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