August 23rd, 2019
I know this photo is boring, but this is one of the most important paragraphs I have ever read in my life.
Context: last year, my friend Tracy recommended this book to me. It’s called The Writing Life, it’s by Annie Dillard, and it is one of the best books I have ever read. It feels like it was written just for me, and I find myself thinking about it all the time.
Sometimes, a revelation isn’t someone revealing something new to you. Sometimes, it’s describing something you’ve always known about yourself with words you could never find. That’s what Annie does time and again.
Like here. Here she tells you that you should never save or hold onto anything. If you have it, right now, you should put it on the page. Right now.
God, that is how I want to live my life.
And I try to. Sometimes I do. But there are so many times when I wanted to say something or do something and I didn’t. And it becomes a regret, which becomes an ocean of regrets, which creates a horizon that you long for but can never reach.
I could have saved that sentence for something else, something more, but I feel it right now, so I said it now.
I hope you have days when you have the courage that Annie encourages here. That you say and do everything you want to and have no regrets. Because everything you spend, you don’t lose; you get it back.
“Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, but destructive.
“Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.”
Isn’t that the truth? So give your words and your feelings and your love to those you want to have them, so you don’t lose them.
It sounds so easy, and yet it’s the bravest way to live.