Today is one of those days I don’t have time to think straight or sit in this chair to write.
Today is one of those days where I’m short on inspiration.
Today is one of those days that NaBloPoMo is made for…
The need to be away from the computer kind of day. The heart pounding with craziness, and busyness, and excitement kind. The warmth of touchable, flesh and blood, kind of day.
But we’ve made it two weeks (today), halfway through blogging each and every day of November, and I’m not ready to throw in the towel today even though I’m dying to say, “Screw it!!! I don’t have time today!!!” But I just can’t.
In an effort to make it easier, I intended to do a quick search of Huffington Post (to which I am addicted) and resurrect an article I’d seen a while back. Unfortunately after 15 minutes of searching, I realized it was, just maybe, on my other favorite site, Brain Pickings. And indeed, it was.
Candy Chang, an artist and designer, started a project in New Orleans called “Before I Die I Want To…” She turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard for people to share their thoughts anonymously.
"I never expected such an amazing outpouring of responses so quickly. Within 24 hours, the entire wall was completely filled out. And the responses range from humorous to overwhelmingly thoughtful — from ‘be a YouTube sensation’ to ‘go 200 mph’ to ‘be completely myself.’ I hear that people are gathering at the house and it’s stopping traffic. I’m blown away.” ~ Candy Chang
This sent my mind into a spin. What would I write? At first, I was concerned my secret aspirations were coming from a fairly superficial and seemingly self-absorbed place. Then I got to thinking, it is my life. I'd want it to be for the people I care about most. And me, too, of course. Is that shallow?
It became an international sensation and after reading a follow-up article, I felt better about my superficial wants.
“Indeed, the answers brim with seeming individual simplicity which somehow unravels the collective complexity of the human condition: World peace, curing cancer, and learning to love might not be the most original of answers, but something magical happens when anonymity strips us of the compulsion for originality and lays bare our deepest, most unoriginally human and heartfelt longings with crisp, urgent sincerity. In aggregate, they are a reminder of what truly matters — a moral lens on what should matter — as we face the immutable fact that one day, when we turn to look back on our lives, all the cleverness and pretentiousness and witticism will dissipate into dust over the burning coals of our innermost, simplest, most earnest desires for a meaningful life.
(I love that paragraph above!!! Trueness to self is difficult, at times, considering marital and family dynamics.)
The magical realization of doing this anonymously didn’t change what I would write; it just made me feel like I could be more true to myself. Write how I really felt. What I really wanted. It’s not something like world peace, or anything universally important, even though I wish for those things.
Before I die I want to live in Italy for an extended period, splitting time between Rome, Chianti, and the Amalfi Coast. All the people I care about would come stay with me (separately or in small groups).
We’d be perfectly relaxed. And laugh, talk and hug. Spend undistracted, quality time really “seeing” each other. We’d revel in the small and important moments that make sharing time one of the most exquisite feelings on earth.
What do you want to do?