A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. – Jorge Luis Borges
All of our lives – each of us – are shaped by our personal style. Moment to moment we make choices, selecting to focus on one thing and exclude another. But life is not about binary choices, and task lists. The art of living must embrace what is given to us. From this raw clay of existence we shape our destiny.
Each of you reading this is the master artisan of your own life. Be proud of your handiwork. This day, and all those before it, have been forged upon your metal and fastened to your spirit. Bless you and your unique path through the world. The artist within us all notices the subtle textures of the days and seeks the wonderful over the horrible. But we cannot always prevent misfortunes from arising. We can however ride out the storm and wait for the tempest to subside as it inevitably will.
These tideline seafoam shadows reminded me of ancient Chinese paintings. The master photographer Ansel Adams once said, you don’t take a photograph, you make it. Some fascinating detail catches your eye and draws you into the subject for a time. You become aware of something below the surface – a pattern in the sand, a bend in a branch, and you try to capture the unique essence of the moment. This is true of life as well. After a long day – a flower dancing in the breeze, a child’s laughter, a small kindness, temporary reverie improves your life. You, the life-artist, discover delight.
Your life provides all the resources for creating a better way forward. If uncertain, change your perspective. Discover a new viewpoint from which to chart your course ahead. Try to stay positive. But when things look bad for a while, be careful until you can once again shape your life as you wish to live it. Find your purpose. Shape your life. Peace.