The Illustration Friday word of the week is spent.
Lately, as parents pass on and friends my age show signs of illness and decline, I look in the mirror and see that my own body, too, is beginning to succumb to the inevitable outcome of the material dimension. I passed the Puer Aeternus stage quite a while back, (when everything seemed possible and I was invincible) but recently, I have begun to contemplate how, exactly, I have spent my brief time here on planet Earth. I see that I have no children to justify my years, no pension, no fortune, no fame. Perhaps no one will even remember me…almost certainly not in a hundred years. It is an odd feeling to notice one’s body winding down, and yet to feel the Spirit, the curiosity and enthusiasm for life only just now beginning to wake up and stretch out. Does it happen like this for everyone? Perhaps this is where those phrases about life being over “all too quickly” and “in the blink of an eye” come from?
One thing that I know for certain…I have not spent my life following the herd. Sometimes in darker moments, I wonder if that was wise. But if given the choices all over again, I most certainly would have made creativity, intellectual and spiritual curiosity, and relationship the highest priorities…far above security, money and social acceptance. That may not be everyone’s definition of a life well spent, but it has been mine. When I temporarily lose my way, I remember this quote:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“Not Following” (pencil, watercolor, gouache)