The Voluptuousness Of Living
“Everything is downhill from here, ‘cept what’s up…it’s all in your attitude.” Katie Lee, 95, Jerome, Arizona, singer, environmental activist.
(As stolen kiss on a cliff in the Valley of the Gods, Utah) Photography by Frosty Wooldridge
Long ago, before modern communications, before electric lights, before mobility—people wrote letters—shaping eachsentence with care, lamplight over their shoulders, reflections, meditations and invitations. Those letters lie moldering in garrets and museums now, but the need for them never changed. We humans love to communicate with each other or ourselves.
We must express ourselves or suffer in our ruminating minds, like scorched clothes in a dryer that doesn't have an automatic shut-off.
Expression keys our freedom.
"The body will do whatever it has to do in order to bleed off excess energy. If it isn't spent consciously, in creative endeavors, physical activity, or sexual relations, then the subconscious will blow off this energy, in fits of anger or cruelty, or nightmares, or crime, or illnesses, or through abuse of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, or food or sex. Untamed energy, meeting internal obstacles is the source of all addictions. Don't try to manage the addictions—clear the obstructions.’" (From Millman’s book: The Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
Great thoughts from my hero and one of the luminaries of our times.
In your youth, you were taught that you “ought” to do this or become that. Today, you participate in a running battle all your life with the “ought” upon your rebellious heart. “Ought” is a prison from which few of us escape. Decide to breakout! Even if you work a suffocating job, you may express yourself after work. Note the mechanics or computer nerds who work all week, but recklessly risk their necks as rodeo bull riders, kamikaze motorcycle jumpers and race triathlons on weekends.
Only when you ignore the world's “oughts”, can you be a lamp unto your own feet—take your own path—judge yourself compared to no one. You enjoy a choice to be a "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." Must you worry that the world judges you harshly? Screw the world. You must quest after your own nature.
We see no man more pathetic than the one crippled by indifference. A loss of expression. A loss of caring. And worst of all—of dreaming! It's complicated but you can overcome it. As long as you breathe and ambulate, you can do something meaningful with your life.
To be alive provides the first miracle and mystery. Next, you must adapt, grow and renew yourself during your entire stay on this planet.
True, you may travel far and you may travel deep. You may travel in both dimensions—your mind or your body. In any case, you may sometimes find that you did not know what you were looking for in your quest. The chance to discover your path constitutes the true sack of gold that awaits you the far-traveler.
You possess such power within you. Publish it to your friends in your enthusiasm toward life. Search for a deeper well and drink beyond the confusion.
Your ongoing message passionately expresses the voluptuousness of living. That means NOT to be so comfortable that living becomes too easy. That means not going from an airconditioned house to a climate controlled car to an officecomplex where everyone wears the same suits and thinks the same way as they claw their way up the corporate ladder with accompanying stress levels and ulcers. Too much comfort and success kills your spirit. You need to know the differences—because in the opposites, come perspectives and appreciation. You don't have to be a spectator. You can live at a vibrating tingle. Like a soaring eagle. Like a leaping gazelle. Like a grizzly grabbing a fish from the river. Like a north wind blowing. The results of that decision will become more apparent to you each succeeding year.
Life sweeps along swiftly enough without spending precious hours and days on useless routine and inactivity. Whatever excites you, chase it with a vengeance. No life-crisis for men or women who chase their passions. You enjoy seventy odd years to fulfill your life and you want to fill-up with the voluptuousness of living. That particularly! That means being aware of pain, of joy, of potential within yourself—of being excited for every leaf on a tree as it flutters in the wind or watching a hawk rip down from the sky to grab a mouse or the delight of discovering a lady bug on your body in early spring or gazing upon a starlit sky.
Living at a high level of awareness also leads you to a kind of rage, too, which is the blood sister of love—because the people of this world make it a charming, insane, exciting and confusing place. You must maintain the ability to deal with everyone, with your mind and spirit—at full bore. To see is to know and to know is to fall in love with living, breathing, throbbing life.
A full life awaits you to pursue as a man or woman and as a human being.