Make Your Life a Poem

Leo's quote is from this post: Toss Productivity Out
Once upon a time, I was in the running as a valedictorian speaker for my graduating class at UCR.

I think a professor nominated me, I certainly did not apply (though I would have if I could).

My speech, which I had to give to the committee that chose the speaker, was titled: "Make Your Life a Poem." I quoted myself* and Nazim Hikmet**. I think my speech was a little too serious for the undergraduate speech; the one choosen was more along the lines of the guy in Say Anything who starts singing "The Greatest Love of All.***" My speech was much more earnest, more along the lines of Diane Court's****.

Anyway, my idea, my basic premise was just about the same one in this Leo Babuata quote. "Life where you're always doing something you love is art."

In order to make your life a poem, you have to live it intentionally. Moment by moment. Do what you love. Do what you hate, but try to find the love in the moment as well.

For example, changing a dirty diaper: hating the smell and the filth and the repetition is not without cause. But you're still doing it out of love. Love of the child, love of cleanliness, love of something that compels you to change the diaper. If you act from that place, you're intentionally living your life.

Act from that place, that place of love, as much as possible. That's basically my life philosophy in a nutshell. (Or as the Dalai Lama puts it, "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Love is kindness. Authentic kindness, authentic love is the most important thing in this world.)

 Do what you love. Make art of your life. Make your life a poem.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

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* Yes, I really did quote one of my own poems. Oh, the arrogance! It was a love poem to my husband, one about the weddedness of art and science, how could I resist?

** Nazim Hikmet is one of my favorite poets and the poem I linked to, Angina Pectoris, is one of my favorite poems of all times. As a poet, that's a hard choice to make, but it is. Right up there with "One Art" and (as I've written before on this blog, an old favorite) "The Lady of Shallot."

*** Actually, "The Greatest Love of All," while it has become something of a popular culture cliche, is a really great example of what I mean. "I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadow. If I fail, if I succeed, they can't away my dignity." Live YOUR life. The life you love. Your dignity will remain yours and so will your successes and your failures.

**** I only wish I were Diane Court, though. I'm sure they were right not to choose me as valedictorian, though I love being able to tell people about being in the running for the position.Yup. Arrogance.