Who am I? What have you made me for, God? Why am I even here, right now, on this beautiful planet? What is my role here?
These are questions that haunt me. The answers somehow eluding me. Maybe that is because I have been looking for a job description. Something that comes with pay would be nice.
Last week, I found another question that perhaps led me closer to the answers.
What makes me most Alive? When do I feel most Alive? When do I feel that deep and inherent “Yes!” welling up inside of my being?
I spent time remembering and writing these moments down. Moments like deep, rich conversation, when soul glimpses soul. Those “A-ha!” moments when something clicks and I see things in a new way. Poetry. The first few notes of practice at All-State Orchestra camp when we played a Bach piece that broke my heart right open with its beauty, beauty that I got to be a part of. Creating. Gardening: I delight in each seedling that makes its way through the dirt stretching toward the sun. Snuggling my children. Watching ducks hurtle across the sky. Taking time to watch the sun set over the backyard in the summer. Reading and sharing good, good words. Sinking into silence. Paying attention. These are the things that keep me Alive. These are the things that I am made for.
But do you know what my first reaction to this list was? “Well that isn’t very marketable.” And my reaction made me sad.
As if my value needs to be monetized. As if what makes me me has little true value. As if true value equals money or comes from a paycheck.
I think I am being invited into something: To live creatively. To value creativity, my words, the things that make my heart dance. To embrace connection. These are not wastes of time nor worthless pursuits. These are the things I was made for.
I am invited to pay attention. To wake up. To stay awake. To wake up some more.
I love, love these words from Mary Oliver’s poem Messenger:
“Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
Yes. Yes. Yes. What is my work? What is your work? What makes you come alive, deep-down alive? It’s a magical question. An important question. It holds all sorts of clues.
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is opening my heart, paying attention, and singing what I see. Participating in the song that was and is and will be.