Living life to the full

I will be like
someone who cannot
hide their love
but my joy will become 
ordinary 
and everyday
and like a lover
I will find out
exactly what it is like
to be the happiest,
 
the only one in creation
to really 
understand 
how much,
I’m just a hair’s breadth
from dying.

David Whyte, Mortality My Mistress [extract]

The longest day of the year

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

Seneca, On the Shortness of life

The first gift

Despite all the darkness, human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality some intimate kindness holds sway.  This is the heart of blessing.  To believe in blessing is to believe that our being here, our very presence in the world, is itself the first gift, the primal blessing. As Rilke says: Heir zu sein ist so viel – “to be here is immense”.

John O Donohue, Benedictus, To Bless the Space Between Us

Really taste life

Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry.

Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.

Ernest Hemingway