How should I live my life? Thomas Merton asks that question in a beloved way:
“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”
— Thomas Merton, born on this day in 1915
Ask me not where I live. (I’m free range.)
Ask me not what I like to eat. (Gluten-free, dairy-free, yet chocolate or coconut)
Ask me not how I comb my hair. (I have brushes not combs.)
Ask me in detail because curiosity creates forward motion.
What am I living for? What am I fighting for? What causes am I for? What am I doing with my days? What for? Why for? Who for?
For fortitude. For fortifying myself and others with strength of heart. Courage. Creative courage. All kinds of courage.
For love. Love, love, love, says Percy, says Mary Oliver.
I read this poem below the day after Mary Oliver died. It was a reprise post from April 2016. Like an oracle that goes back to your past, I wonder what I was doing on April 29, 2016 and if I was loving, trusting, sleeping, or hurrying.
I recall what I was doing back then, thanks to my inbox archive. I was playing with my inner artist along the shining beach in New Zealand. One of the best days ever.