Friday, January 14, 2011


At a meeting the other day, my friend and I had a short discussion about New Year's resolutions, goals and dreams. She said she doesn't make any promises to herself anymore; those are the ones that always get broken.

She told me any promise she makes to another, she ifs, ands or buts. Not the ones she promises to herself, however.  She said she was such an unknown entity to herself, she didn't really know what she wanted, anyway. Before I can find a goal...she said...I have to try and find out who that stranger is inside me...

"One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is." – Norman Vincent Peale

We didn't have a long time to talk; we made a date for lunch. But the short conversation stayed with me. I recall saying to my daughter awhile ago that I didn't know who I really was, what my goals were, when she told me she would like to read more about me.

I've taken many long journeys inside, but they were all taken with the intent to heal, during my time in recovery. Once or twice, I have taken journeys within with the clear intention of learning who I was. How did I get here, why am I here, what am I doing here...what is my purpose?

These are the questions to which I wanted answers. I wanted those answers immediately...I didn't want to have to wait or work hard at all. And of course, with this kind of impatience, I got nowhere. I had some idea, as well, of the kind of courage it takes to go on that long, inner journey and face the nakedness of my own soul. I wasn't really sure I had that special courage...

I've learned, since then. Facing demons...the ones that stop progress, those embarrassing, hurtful, shameful ones, makes me cringe.  But I've stood in front of these demons and have made my peace. And I think I know myself as well as anyone, finally. But as to what my purpose is...I have yet to form a conclusion.

"The longest journey of any person is the journey inward." – Dag Hammerskjvld

Since I didn't come up with any answers, I did what I normally do when I'm stumped...I stuffed it away and thought, well, eventually I will know why I'm living this life. Eventually, surely, after a few  more revelations from lessons placed in my path by the Powers-That-Be, I will know, well and truly.

Of course, if I believe as strongly as I do the statement that everything is exactly the way it is meant to be right now...then I'm already doing what I'm meant to be.

And then, during a visit to the hospital, I spoke with an elderly man who had been declared palliative. He was of sound mind and of a rather philosophical nature. As I sat with some needlework, he and I spoke about life and what it was all about. He felt it is over-rated, life is. He said he had lived a whole lifetime, and still he didn't know why he was here or who he was. Or what his goals were. And he wondered why he'd ever cared...

And then he laughed rather ruefully. Guess it's too late now...he said...guess I'll just enjoy the ride, what's left of it.

As I drove home, I chuckled to myself, as I wondered why I felt the need to know everything about this...acquaintance...who lived within. Wasn't it enough to know my place in the Universe? To know that I am unique and connected, firmly grounded in my own place?

Why don't I just accept what is present...who I am now, what I do and why I do it? If I am such an unknown to myself that I cannot make goals or intentions because I do not know what I desire or which path I want to follow...I would have to be far younger than I am now.

My friend and I will have a spirited conversation over lunch.

And I keep thinking...why not make it easy...leave the whole thing simple?

Why don't I just enjoy the ride...what's left of it?


  1. I lived too many years with too much introspection and now I am enjoying the ride.

    When I followed the axiom to "know thyself," I was at that moment a different self, one who knew myself. Since I kept liking all those selves I found, I stopped looking inward.

    I am what I do, there is really no essence of "me."

  2. A fascinating post to read, Marion. I have times of deep thought when I am filled with many questions about “the universe” and my purpose in it. Exploring is something I like to do … it’s like being a Sherlock Holmes of the self. But after awhile, I decide I’ll never fully understand … that’s for sure! So I get back to savoring precious moments until curiosity grabs hold of me again. :)

  3. Such a TRUE post! It has taken me years to come to this awareness.. Your elderly patient has spoken the reality for us all.. well, at least for me.

    After living a good (and yes, spoiled) life for years.... I learned 18 months ago about pain, heartache, betrayal and.....unemployment!

    I have come out of the other end of this tunnel with your words - " I am what I do".
    And what I do is fluid, ever-changing....

    I think one must relax, not expect and

    I love your beautiful, magical snow photos.....

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    ♥ Robin ♥

  4. I love the Peale quote and your amazing photos. So true! I'm a Cancer and way too introspective...but menopause cured me of all that looking inward. Wasn't it a man who made that comment about the unexamined life?? LOL! Most women are too busy most of their lives to do all that looking inward... I tend to live for the present and accept each day as a gift. I'm continually surprised that way. I had my bedroom window up photographing Cardinals in a tree today and damned if 3 males didn't all land in the same tree and act like friends. It was a moment of pure joy even though one of them flew away and I only got 2 in my photograph. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Love & Blessings,

  5. Just enjoying the ride is underrated, in our culture, isn't it?

  6. You always make me think. This would be a good time for me to take a good look inside my self and my approach to life, but I don't dare. There is too much anger to open that can right now. I know it isn't the healthiest approach, but all I can do for now. You as so lucky to have friends you can have such great conversations with. - Margy

  7. my dearest friend,

    this makes me think: 'ride the horse in the direction she's going." i imagine a tree that refuses to bend in high winds: snap.

    i've learned much about balance and acceptance. but i am so vulnerably human sometimes. sometimes i can't get out of my own way. until, often, i am rescued by the love and caring of myself, or others, or both. remember that, marion? i didn't really get it in the 60's but i do now. i can't always do it, but i know it's best.

    as always, a great post. i love all i learn from you so much.

    love love

  8. I go back and forth Marion - I really do. I am content with living my life and then there are those times when I wonder and wonder if I knew the "truth" - would some kind of different path be put in front of me. I sometimes feel that - after I die - I'll be in front of some kind of a judge, who will say (kindly - I imagine) "nope - you didn't get it - go back and try again" Sometimes it tantalizingly close. Most times its so far away I can't even glimpse it.

    anyway - I believe in enjoying what I am and what I have now - I really do.

  9. I think of Ehart Tolle's comment about finding ones purpose. To be present in the present moment, that is enough. He says you cant know the future, and adds, nor do you have to.

    I spent a lot of time too wondering about my "purpose.' Then too thinking maybe there is no purpose, not in a nihilistic way, but just--well life is pretty absurd isnt it. It is man who overlays ideas about goals, plans, purpose.

    I hope to focus this year on enjoying the ride. Thanks for that quote. Ironically though, for the first time, a purpose or focus has been growing in me. In each present moment, to create peace. To remember peace, rather than arguing, trying to prove my point, trying to be top dog or whatever. If I focus on peace, I will make choices differently. I dont know what will evolve out of this focus if anything. We shall see.

    your posts are always deep and thought provoking. thank you. blessings, suki

  10. Wonderful, thought-provoking post Marion. I seem to be going a bit deeper within this year. Last year I really blew it as far as enjoying the ride. I've fought this move and the friends I left behind and I didn't take care of myself in the process. I'm now paying for that.

    I love Suki's approach to letting peace in.
    And I'm trying to practice loving kindness (with myself) as I don't seem to have a problem sharing it with others. I do know it has to start with me though.

    So much work to do to get aquainted with myself! I'm going to work real hard on it this year. I owe myself that much ;)

    Wonderful post marion, and I saw that I got a message that an email came in from you as I was typing this! That's a nice connection we have.


  11. To quote the wonderful Bill Hicks "It's just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one." xx

  12. I printed out the text. Much to ponder. I'll comment here again.

  13. I think we're all here to give of ourselves to others, and you certainly do that, Marion. It sounds like you've been busy helping with Hospice still. That's enough to make anyone think about the meaning of life!

    I hope you are feeling well, dear friend! You spoke of a stone several posts ago, and that concerned me. Are you in pain?

  14. What a wonderful post! And I am so glad you've reached the conclusion you have - you're right. We are what we are, we do what we do, everything is as it should be. I think if we simply remember that "I" and "me" are vastly overrated and overplayed, that we are simply one with all things and we just get one with being, then we make our lives so much simpler, so much purer - we can be without the thousand questions generated by the ego and the self.

  15. Jan,

    "Since I kept liking all those selves I found, I stopped looking inward." I love this sentence. Finally, after years of looking for a better me, I don't think there is one, especially since I, too, like all those selves I found.

    aka Penelope,

    And that's the thing with me, as well. That old bug bear curiosity! I'll watch a show or read a book and before you know it, I'm off on another search. But I know the 'looking' is slowing down...


    Another wonderful, thoughtful comment from you, wise Robin! Life's crises have a way of changing one's perspective, for sure. But, on looking back, I can say each one in my life at least taught me important lessons that I'm so grateful for.

  16. Marion,

    Three Cardinals, wow!What an incredible experience you had, Marion, I so wish I could have been there! Graham's a Cancer and very introspective at times.

    I'm looking at my life a bit more these days...I have only a month and a few days before I turn 60...and I feel as if I am turning a corner.

    Katie May (or may not),

    Oh, isn't it just! But it is the easiest, most joyful way to live, each day when I remember to do it...

    Powell River Books,

    You have a great deal on your plate at the moment and in the foreseeable future, must be sure to be in a very safe place when you release your anger. I can feel the stuffed tears within you.



    It's so easy to fall into the trap of small,daily problems, where they become enormous...and then one thing leads to another. I guess it's the way of it.

    But I think you've been making enormous're leaping, like Emily, now!

  17. Mim,

    I know that judge...except I don't think his judgment is unkindly, either,heh. And that's why I believe in reincarnation...there are too many issues for one life to have to deal with them all!

    There can't be too many more lessons, can there? I find I am weary of them...


    Oh, Suki! Another epiphany...I love hearing about them! To create peace...I don't know of a greater, more joyous goal than that. The other, the inharmonious times, can then be turned around and so easily, if one truly wants peace.

    but just when I think I have found the answer, a growing purpose of some sort finds purchase within me. Just a nudge...and then off I go!

    Balance, that's what I seek, always.

    Studio Lolo,

    You are so generous with others, lo,I think it's time to be generous with yourself. I moved, as well, away from my family and friends. And I know it takes time to acclimate and accept. But I am here now, and if I want to make the best of each day, I figure I can start with finding the best of where I live.

    It'll be exciting to watch you blossom, regaining that part of your spirit you left behind!

  18. All Consuming,

    Thanks, hon, for the quote from a superb comedian who died far too young.

    "The eyes of love instead see all of us as one." Exactly right, Michelle...xoxo


    I'll look forward to it!


    It's nice to see you, my old friend! I hope you are well...or at least, better with the new meds.

    The stone referred to the feeling in my heart over the holiday season, missing loved ones. I have adjusted to the fibro...bad days and good!

    Nicky Schmidt (Absolute Vanilla),

    Nicky, what a marvellously succinct and thoughtful comment! thank you. The connection thing feels very real and very awe-inspiring at many of us here think the same way. It's truly inspiring to me!

  19. Hi Marion

    The man you sat with strengthens what I've always felt and believed

    so many people tie themselves up in knots trying to work out the unfathomable. Whenever my hubby tries to engage me in one of those deep and meaningful what's it all about chats he always gets my standard reply

    "It is what it is, we are what we are..."

    otherwise it'll do my head in ;)

    I'm going to show him this post when he gets home.

    Smiles to you*!*

  20. Marion: I wonder if that is part of our challenge, as humans - dealing with our ingrained curiosity ... I so appreciate your honesty in revealing your experiences, facing your demons and surviving ... and growing. Maybe all we are supposed to do is enjoy the ride - and wouldn't that be a great relief?

    Thank you for your post, your writing is always like a gift to me. Nicole

  21. I fear defining too definite a purpose for life; mission accomplished (silent salute), there you are hanging out there with no purpose once that is accomplished? An open-ended purpose seems to me best. Try daily to make a positive difference in anothers' life. That is never accomplished till we "pass on" as they say.
    Your work with hospice fits the definition and I don't think one could come up with a better way to serve others.
    It is really not that hard to do; I wish we all could see clear to serve others --- what a wonderful world that could be.

    Best to you and Graham for the new near.

  22. Marion, I am late getting here, how did I miss this post. It is a wonderful post. You answered your own questions you know :-). AS we are always changing we have to work hard to keep up with who we are. I do a lot of inner work, but I try to balance it with having fun and enjoying the ride. xoxo

  23. Bimbimbie,

    "otherwise it'll do my head in"...heh, exactly. After awhile, the brain just needs a rest, wants to focus on other things. I hope your husband enjoyed the post...!


    Yes, it is a relief...not that I remember to do it all the time. But there is great serenity in acceptance of what is.

    I hope you're enjoying the blizzard we're having today!


    I actually thought of that as I was writing this post...the once the goal is accomplished, what then...can there be another purpose? I suppose there can, but it could get exhausting. I like your open-ended purpose very much.

    So far, we have almost three feet of snow on the seems to snow everyday! I hope you are faring better where you are! xoxo

    Annie Coe,

    Enjoying your ride shows in your playful ceramics, Annie...they are all full of fun!xoxo

  24. Lovely post, Marion, you always make me think. (And your photos always freeze me to death!)