I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time. -Jack London
These words, written by a man who died in 1916, printed over a sepia picture on the flat face of a postcard bought at the gift shop at Huntington Library, were life-changing.
Our Creator did not put us here to see how long we could sit and watch the world go by. We were not put here with a warranty tag guaranteed to last a certain length of time if we just followed some maintenance program. In these words I found revelation that it is our duty to act upon our dreams.
I am not advising recklessness. I am reflecting that we were created by the Almighty to meet our purpose with the four I’s- intent, intensity, intelligence, and integrity.
The picture above- I am the ankle barely seen above the raft on the right side. Someone else is going overboard on the left side. My friend, Becky, is the one with the horrified expression on her face.
Going overboard turned out to be my professional "baptism". I arrived in Montana an editor. Having made this day trip straight from Bible Study, as we approached the rapids we were inspired to chant, "Yeah though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil."
On the first bounce, the underloaded raft bent in the middle, becoming shaped like a taco. On the second bounce, it was a back flip into the churning white waters.
There was no fear. It was shoved out by shear exhilaration. And the absolute conviction that I was meant to be a writer.