So after a day of Santa Monica sunshine (read: lovely beach, mountains in sight, sun shining, good company, coffee shops nearby), my cheeks glowing, my mind relaxed and my body alive I am now contemplating the meaning of life:
Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
– John Steinbeck (East Of Eden)
How much does a man live, after all?
Does he live a thousand days, or one only?
For a week, or several centuries?
How long does a man spend dying?
What does it mean to say “forever”?
– Pablo Neruda
What is it that turns you on? What lights your fire? What makes you feel so good that your whole life becomes that much more amazing? What is it that makes you so happy you see life like you’ve never seen it before?
I know what my passions are…I might write an essay one day about spring in Paris, about jesters and sunrises, about traveling the world making movies and running companies, about foods that make you sizzle and friends with compassion, about the tricks of the mind and sailing the seven seas, about indulging in life and jumping through waves in summer, about drawing portraits and telling stories, about making a child smile and a man laugh…maybe one day, but they are only important to me. They are what make me smile. They are what make me feel like it’s spring – like the whole world has come alive again; the colors become more colorful, the smells more delicious, the foods more indulgent, the impressions more crisp, the feelings more wonderous and the hugs that much warmer.
Life has its ways – its ups and downs – but passion, true passion, it stays with you even when life is upside-down. Even when you have those moments, even then, you find solace and beauty in what’s true to you. And when life is good, when you are free to live out your passions, then, then it’s beyond words….like flying, it’s like flying.