this one wild and precious life

Mary Oliver once asked, “tell me, what is it you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?”

when i consider it, i realize i’ll do as i am now, spending my days in a poetic exposé of creative and existential thought, exploring my own conscious awareness, pursuing passion however i can.

you see, i want to seek beauty and wonder, and find it in each and every moment. i search for novelty and awe. i dream of the cosmos, both inside and out; in the stars, in the sea, and inside of me. i immerse myself in mystic and esoteric discourse, on all of the infinite ideas on life, love, and this odd but funny, universal cosmic joke.

i wander beaches and stroll through trees, i gaze at mountains and stare into the sky. i take pictures, kiss and hold hands, i play with my cats and walk my dog. i cook happy, wholesome food. i write and share what i think, how i feel and what i see. i try to view life artistically, to be inspired and to create.

i try to be all that i can be, but i often come short. i’m grateful and compassionate, but i often slip. i try to forgive myself when i screw up, as i often do, but it’s hard. i struggle, a lot. i get sad and angry, pissed off and upset, and i hate it whenever i am. but that is human. it’s tough sometimes, and i often fail when i want to be calm and zen. I under-think and over-react, but that is human. that is our common experience, to try to be free from what we all suffer from, to try to be a bit more like Buddha.

but i’m also happy, and i love, smile and laugh, and i appreciate every breath i take. i can be silly and i can cry, sometimes both in the very same day. i contemplate and try to meditate, so that i can feel my happiness for longer stretches of time, but it always fades. although, it also always comes back. i try to be mindful, but I often forget. i try to find peace with each and every step i take, but I stumble quite a bit.

life ebbs and flows, it waxes and wanes. what you feel right now will never be constant. all things come and go, all things rise and then fall. things never stay the same.

and that’s when i realize that is the very practice of living a mindful life, the act of returning your attention inward, intentionally, once you’re aware of those moments when you forgot to. that is the practice. that is the act of being mindful; knowing when you weren’t. that is life, trying to always better yourself, and being conscious of when you’re not.

this is the process that reduces our struggle and helps us find contentment and equanimity, living and acting with better intention, wholeheartedly and without regret.

so, what is my plan for this one wild and precious life, you ask?

i plan to do just that; to live in the moment, to follow my bliss, to love and to find wonder, to be compassionate, to seek wisdom and to somehow make a difference. and to have lots of practice, with all of it.

how about you?

brian thompson

appears as originally published on Medium