Friday, February 24, 2012

View Life as a Painting

We are taught as children and then as adults to view life as a gradual puzzle. Piece by piece we learn little things, new things, and use those things to help us put together the big picture of life. It is our hope that by the end of our road, we'll understand the big picture, we'll have some sort of grasp, even if shallow, of what the answers are to the questions of the Universe.

But this is daunting and difficult and impossible. When we live in the day to day of hoping to see the meaning of life we live in skepticism. Unsureness breeds frustration which can lead to depression, confusion, and a various amount of things that can wound your spirit. When you live in the day to day, attempting to put together the big picture piece by piece, you realize that you live each day waking up thinking, "Today is just another day. Perhaps by its end I will have found something to make this day worth living." Maybe not in so drastic a sense that would seem this depressed, but that we live each day hoping that by the end of it we've found another piece, which we'll take home and try to find where it fits in the puzzle. In this fashion, you'll be living each day always worried that you have missed something important, something special, that there was a piece to be obtained and now it is gone forever.

But this is all nonsense. Why not live life backward?

Live life more sure of the big picture. Teach your children to find the big picture first, strive to look for the big picture in each day, not just a piece of it. The big picture is ever present and hardly a mystery. Life is to be lived to the fullest. If the biggest mystery is "What is the meaning of life?" surely it is "To live." And I'd assert one step further that the meaning of life is to live through Love; through happiness. Why not wake up thinking, "Life is good. Today is a beautiful day. If I died at this moment I would have taken from today all I have been searching for: Joy." There is joy in every day, and it is possible for joy to course through your veins so that when we reach the end of that road all will see that we ooze gladness.

When you view a painting, do you start by staring at it up close, then back up to a get a sense for what you're looking at? No. When you view a painting you see the whole painting first and only upon getting a sense for the bigger picture do you begin to move closer, analyzing and appreciating the brushstrokes, the colors, the paints, the oils, the technique, all the little pieces.

Why not live life as you would view a painting? As the sun rises, take in the big picture. There is goodness to be had in this day, it has great value. Now live out the rest of it free of the worry that you will miss something, that there will be pieces you won't gather. Life is not a puzzle. It is already complete. But in your day to day, appreciate the brushstrokes, the colors, the paints, the oils, and the technique. Rejoice in all the little pieces. They are abundant and never ending. They are not to be collected only to serve the purpose of making sense of life at its end. They are to be appreciated and cherished now.

When you live so focused on the fear that you will never see the big picture, you will miss the details.

As Bruce Lee said, "Don't think. Feel. It is like a finger pointing to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory."

Wake up. View life as a painting.

2 comments:

  1. Will,
    A truly excellent piece of writing.
    The thesis is beautifully and persuasively rolled out.
    This is a keeper, both for the sentiment, and as a writing sample (journalism/mag. writing).
    Best,
    Reed

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  2. As your writing clearly illustrates time and again, some of the best help you can obtain in perceiving the big picture comes from knowing more and more about the artist.

    I salute you for your keen insight and elegance in expressing what you see.

    ReplyDelete