Got A Lot of Livin’ To Do

“It’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it.”
-Anne Shirley

So much in what life holds for us depends on what we’re willing to put into it. A few years ago I had a completely loathsome, mind-numbingly life-deteriorating mundane job at a call center in which I often idled away hours on the clock with what I now refer to as “musings”. I would let my mind wander (because it was never in use for the four hours I was there dialing phone numbers for potential water softener clientele… Yes you read correctly. That really was a job.) And during those shifts on the clock I found a way to be productive by musing about a better way to spend my time. I would doodle and scribble and imagine all over the back of my “lead sheets”. The ones which were particularly compelling to me, I made a point to save and tuck away, promising myself to make good on them someday. I recently came across one such “musing” which I distinctly remember investing very serious, contemplated, compensated (heh heh) hours for. I chose my words very carefully. Though less scripted than some of my others, this particular sheet, Water Quest logo’d (R.I.P.) and all, speaks volumes in it’s simplicity. Upon re-discovering this little mind memoir, I couldn’t help but think of the Bob Dylan gem, 
“All I Really Wanna Do”. It goes a little somethin’ like this:
“I ain’t lookin’ to compete with you
Beat, or cheat, or mistreat you.
Simplify you, classify you,
Deny, defy, or crucify you.
No, and I ain’t lookin’ to fight with you,
Frighten you or uptighten you.
Drag you down or drain you down,
Chain you down or bring you down.
I ain’t lookin’ to block you up,
Shock or knock or lock you up.
Analyze you, categorize you,
Finalize you or advertize you.

I don’t want to straight-face you,
Race or trace you, track or trace you.
Or disgrace you, or displace you,
Or define you, or confine you.

I don’t want to meet your kin,
Make you spin or do you in.
Or select you or dissect you,
Or inspect you, or reject you.

I don’t want to fake you out,
Take or shake or forsake you out.
I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me,
See like me, or be like me.

All I really wanna do,
Is baby, be friends with you.”

Now, my “All I Really Wanna Do” ballad differs from Bobby D.’s in that it does not relate to creating (or more accurately I guess, subtracting from) someone else’s life, but to creating my own. I think the reason why his song reminded me of my “musing” is because of how he chose his words. Maybe you won’t see the connection, or maybe I just think everything circles back to Bob Dylan (thank you, Pops). But either way, you are the author, the artist, the composer of your life. After re-reading the following words on that little 4 x 6 scrap of weathered paper, I have made the solemnest of vows with myself to make good on it in some little way every day, as best I can, starting today. Basically, I promise to bring to life everything the world has to offer, and absorb it completely. For, truly what better way is there to be alive than to feel alive?
Word by word, here it is:
“I will: endure. thrive. uphold. cherish. nurture. believe. bequeath. strive. expect. reciprocate. empathize. construct. perpetuate. promise. protect. abandon. comfort. satisfy. support. acknowledge. champion. fulfill. laugh. cry. enthuse. internalize. learn. study. teach. seek. find. practice. perfect. search. explore. implore. interrogate. uplift. impassion. fortify. succeed. exceed. sanctify. realize. relinquish. grasp. rejoice. repent. redeem. esteem. adore. dismiss. welcome. provide. settle. waver. define. redefine. discover. rediscover. elaborate. exaggerate. yearn. plead. protest. desire. succumb. supply. create. choose. remember. forget. epitomize. prioritize. neglect. play. work. overreact. ignore. compel. cave. faulter. stumble. struggle. conquer. prove. disappoint. impress. offend. applaud. disarm. appease. argue. evaluate. reevaluate. approve. improve. testify. torment. apologize. beguile. enjoy. digest. comprehend. indulge. sacrifice. inundate. transcend. believe. believe. believe. overcome. 
Peace and Love.

Artwork: Vincent van Gogh, “Still Life with Three Bird’s Nests”, 1885