Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How to Live Forever

by Hannah Roveto

A blog is a conversation, and we here at The Writers' Group are polite if sometimes pointed in our conversations. We don't discuss religion or politics or money, even as they relate to writing. Until now.

I have a question for you and I want you to take this quite seriously:

Do you believe in reincarnation?

Yes, I really want to know. Do you believe you will come back to another life, that the world or God or gods have made this not just a one-way trip, but a cyclical experience?

If you do not believe, the next paragraph is for you. If you do believe, please drop down two. Thank you.

If you do not beieve in reincarnation, this is it. You are living it here and now. And if you read this blog, you are truly living it, or at least ready to take steps to make it happen. If we truly only go around once, nothing matters more than living your purpose. Care for your loved ones, even when they roll their eyes at you. Eat and enjoy. So what if bathing suit season is around the corner? Dairy Twist is open for the season, with its hand-lettered signs and 43 ice creams and cherry dip and the Pepto-Bismol pink antique car out front. One small cone won't hurt. And write. Make a little time every day to write. What are you waiting for?

If you do believe in reincarnation, here's the flip side of the coin. If we are reincarnated, there is something we are supposed to learn from this life, yes? We are supposed to challenge ourselves, learn about ourselves, improve and inch closer toward a true clarity of being. There is a reason for writing. No matter what words come from the pen or printer, they demanded introspection about what you need, what others need in their lives. At leaat, this time around.

If you are here on Earth with a need to write, follow what your soul says it must do. Do you have a choice? Of course. You can let time slip by, let other pressures push the writing aside. Doing nothing is a choice. But think of it this way. Whether you're here once or again, there is a reason you are compelled to write. Listen to that voice.

Stand up, stretch, peer out the window at what I hope is a beautiful day where you are, take a deep breath and sit back down, close out Blogger, and write. Enjoy. It is one way for certain to live most in the moment, and one way you will, no doubt, live forever.

(With thanks, I confess, to Jesse Ventura. Yes, Jesse Ventura, who is on a book tour. After seeing Stephen Colbert and Donnie Deutsch both interview him, I haven't the darndest idea what his book is about. However, when asked what motivated him to be a Navy Seal, then a wrestler, then a Governor, and now a writer, he said: "I can't get my head wrapped around the idea of reincarnation. I don't want to be seventy and say woulda-coulda-shoulda. I want to say, I did this, I did that." And by the way, his publisher overrode him on his book cover.)


Anonymous said...

OK, this one brought me to tears, and I'm at work in my cubicle (I have one minute to go before 9 o'clock so I grant myself this).

This is a temp job. They want to hire me but I haven't been able to decide. But my boss's boss said, What do you love to do? (That was to a whole meeting full of us, not me.) Then my boss said, when I'd written something funny, "You missed your calling."

Do I need more signs than that to tell me to get out of here? But the money would be good. I'd be able to afford writing classes (I just signed up for one online). But it would leave me so emotionally and physically drained that I don't know if I'd be able to write. But they are very nice people. It's a very creative environment (except for the cubes).

But I'm 51 and I've been hearing people tell me I should write since my twenties (including an astrologer, when I wanted to be a photographer). I don't want to miss my calling.

I don't know if reincarnation exists or if there even is an afterlife (though I'm reading The Lovely Bones...)

Every day you writers inspire me and keep me headed in the right direction.

Thank you! (and it's 9:05)

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

I am no professional career counselor, but here are my thoughts. I have a paid job, although part-time (some of it writing!), and kids. If you can minimize the day job(s), that's ideal, but sometimes you can't. Most days it's all I can do not to flop over at five. But I can't, so I have to, have to, write or touch the story in some way in the morning, or it's no go. Still, there's a real energy when you find a story that calls to you. On your commute, as you sip coffee, let characters run through your mind. Explore them, see where they go. If you have a protagonist or a plot already, make notes or write phrases in a notebook. "Circus scene, loses her friend..." Organize bit by bit, one evening a week. Once you find Your Story, it will grab you. You will suddenly find ten minutes "extra" each morning, then it will wake you up five minutes earlier still the next week. Before you know it, you'll have an hour a day, maybe almost every day. And when you see it growing, it will pull you in even more. Lisa wrote about signs, and you have those. Amy wrote about how you have to show up, and that takes only five or ten minutes a day to start. And you know you have a purpose. All you have to do is believe in you and let it flow. You go, girl!


Shauna Roberts said...

I like Jesse Ventura's attitude.

I'm not sure whether I believe in reincarnation. I hope it isn't true. Although I have had a wonderful life in many ways, including having perhaps the happiest marriage I know if, the bad times have outweighed the good. If reincarnation IS true, perhaps I've learned enough from the bad times to win a reprieve from another life.

Lisa said...

My jury is out on the question of what happens after we die, but what I do know is that today isn't a dress rehearsal for my life and I could die tomorrow. What I have to always ask myself is whether or not I'd have regrets if I were to die tomorrow. Sure, I'd like to have published a book by then -- or maybe a dozen, but the thing that gives me a sense of peace is knowing that I'm actively pursuing that goal, not just thinking about it. If it was all over tomorrow, I'd have no regrets. I know I wouldn't be wishing I'd spent more time at work though. :)

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

I liked his attitude, too, Shauna, and it seemed like such a natural way to say, truly, no time like the present. And I feel the same way, Lisa. Even if I did die tomorrow, while it would be nice if someone took this darn MS and slid it to an agent, it wouldn't matter. The process really is cake in my life, and getting published, which I plan on sticking around for, will be the frosting.


Larramie said...

There's a saying: "Find something you love to do and then find a way to get paid for doing it." Of course getting paid may not be in $$'s, but you'll always be rewarded with the time of your life/lives!

Rooster said...

Interesting question. But, with respect to what you do with this life, I'm not sure it makes a difference. If there is no reincarnation, then this is your only chance, so take advatange and get everything you can out of it.

But, if there IS reincarnation, then what ever happened to my past lives? I suppose you could say they helped shaped who I am today, but that would just be a guess. They are so far gone, that I may as well live like this is the only life there is, and get the most out of it.

My big fear of dying as a child was not leaving this earth. it was the possibility that there was indeed life after death, but we would not be able to remember this life. Therefore, this life would have ended, died. Without memory, history has no existence.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Bottom line, then, no matter which way you go on the question, we need to live this one to the fullest. Off to write!