Last summer, friends generously provided me with more books and reading recommendations than I thought one woman could possibly accommodate, although I most happily did. With physical constraints and little else to do, I read voraciously. The selection was wide and wonderful. I didn’t love everything, but I loved that people whom I loved had shared books that they loved.
A year later, fragments of those books still float back to me. Memorable scenes, lovely turns of phrase, a particularly effective metaphor. One such gem that resurfaces with some frequency is from Dani Shapiro’s Devotion: A Memoir. Having survived terrible personal loss, Shapiro finds herself sought out by others seeking meaning for what has happened to them. Her answer: you give the incident meaning. Nothing happens for a reason, you give it reason.
This week I was reminded of this wisdom when I came upon Maria Edgewood’s line, “If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” The two ideas are not interchangable, but they are intertwined. Both point us toward understanding how central a role we can / do / should play in designing and making sense of our own lives.
This power to shape and reshape how life affects us is profound – and woefully under-appreciated. Indeed, I think we are more powerful that we can ever know.
But you have to be open.
You have to be attentive and receptive and contemplative and active. Such power does not accrue to the passive. Ever.
Life Lesson #20: Life is what you make of it.
p.s. I can’t let today pass without noting that it is 9/6. In my Going LIV universe, an auspicious date. I hope to make the most of it.