I’m not so into resolutions. They’re a wonderful thing. I have no problem with them. It’s just that rules don’t work so well for me. Immediately, as soon as there’s a rule, I just want to break it. I also don’t like to get in trouble. I know, that’s a ridiculous contradiction. I am a woman of mystery.
Anyway, I DO believe in fresh starts, daily ones if possible. I am in constant need of refocusing my intention and my energy (OH how I can get off track), and I think it takes a certain kind of goal setting to do that. This year I had a new idea. I’ve decided to take a writer’s approach. Instead of resolutions, I’m giving my year a theme. Whatever happens, my intention is to return to this theme, with the goal of making it ever-prevalent, an automatic part of my thinking. To make it instinctive.
The list of themes that could do me good is possibly endless, but I had to choose one and only one. Over-committing is probably one my my most fatal flaws. Luckily the decision was easy because just a few days ago, I found it – of course – in a bookstore. It was on a magnet:
“I want to ask you, as clearly as I can, to bear with patience all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter or books written in a foreign language. Don’t dig for answers that can’t be given you yet: you live them now. For everything must be lived. Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually, without noticing, live into the answer.”
This is a quote from “Letters to a a Young Poet” by Ranier Maria Rilke, a book I read in my early twenties, and yet I didn’t remember this quote at all. This is partly because my memory is wretched – another thing to work on; OH the endless list – but also because of my state of mind when I was reading that book. I remember that part very well. I was doing the exact opposite of what Rilke is suggesting. I was looking for answers. I was desperate for answers. I was a sophomore in college, and my friend Carol sent me “Letters to a Young Poet” in response to a long, sad letter I had written her. It was a letter full of questions. Carol sent me the perfect reply – live the questions – and yet it’s taken me more than a decade to arrive at a place where I could take it in.
So here I am, Rilke, Carol, 2012. Living the questions. I’ll let you know how it goes.