Hey, You - A Manifesto for Living - Girl of Cardigan

Let’s promise each other we won’t be wasted.

Maybe it begins with making our beds in the morning, opening a window, holding the silence for a moment to reflect.  Maybe it’s the whir of a blender or a cup of coffee, a long stretch, the deliberate reaching for a hand.  Maybe we stay quiet long enough to let ourselves notice, or maybe we aim to fill our eyes or ears with the early morning wisdom of poets – maybe it’s an intentional orientation toward beautiful things.  Whatever it is, let’s begin it.

Maybe you are tired – I’m certain you are.  I’m tired too, but deep in us somewhere is the spark of a fire, the smallest celebration, the origin of joy.  Let’s find it, and feed it, nudge it forward just a little.  Let’s stubbornly muster enthusiasm, let’s be relentless instead of cynical, let’s wink at the world like we know all its secrets, and when they accuse us of being too silly, let’s toss them into a swimming pool.  When the room is dark, we’ll be the ones holding a candle or setting off a firework, or yelling “Boo!” until everyone dissolves into fits of giggles.  There is a gift in us for laughter, a place that keeps and calls it – let’s strap it to our shoulders and wear it like armor into the world.

Maybe we can poke and push and prod the creative spaces in each other, the spaces that dream and long and break open.  Maybe we can give flesh to the bones of all our ideas, show up for each other’s projects with hammers in hand, offer our muscles for the heavy lifting and our sincerest applause for the effort made.  Together, maybe, we can make all kinds of beautiful things.

Maybe it won’t be perfect.  This place is long days and hard work and a thousand compromises, but let’s refuse to be victims.  We can challenge life to a duel, to a bettering, to a wager, a game – we can love others wildly and wonderfully enough to inspire them to fight, and gamble, and play.  Maybe we can walk into the places where the magic is lacking and bring it with us.  Maybe that’s been the only secret all along.

Maybe we can fall in love, a hundred times a day, with places and moments and strangers and possibilities, with life and loss and each other and time. Maybe we can train our eyes to notice details that inspire us and our hearts to open to breaking and dissolve into grace.  Let’s make long lists of the complicated quirks and beauties of the people we meet, store them away like an arsenal, then sound them like a battle cry in all the perfect moments.  Let’s be wild and unpredictable.  Let’s ask the hardest questions.  Let’s break all the rules and shatter all the expectations.

Maybe we can hold each other accountable to the magical tension of the middle – the place where we can be where we are, but never settle, hold what we have, but always seek.  Let’s keep pushing without running, and rest without going numb, and let the adrenaline of a life lived in tightrope balance flow through our aging veins and keep our weary hearts pumping.  Let’s walk the line, and celebrate it.

When we feel stuck, when we are shattered, let’s whisper true things until we believe them.  I will carry hope for you if you’ll hold it for me.  Let’s see the light in each other and call it out as many times as necessary, maybe more.  Let’s hold ourselves to the wildfire business of actual living.  Let’s tend to each other’s burns, light more matches, carry on.

Let’s promise each other we won’t be wasted.

No more excuses.  This is our one and only life… let’s make it sing.

Girl of Cardigan

  • Tiffany Pierce October 25, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Your writing is incredible, refreshing, and soul stirring. Keep doing what you do-you do it well:)

  • Kayla October 25, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I wish I had words as stirring and soulful to describe what a joy this was to read and how much it spoke to me tonight.

  • Jaqueline October 25, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Very moving and appreciated. I sometimes see people around me and I want to share joy with them. If I can I do. Thanks for this “shot in the arm”

  • Regina C October 26, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Bravo. Count me in.

  • stephy October 26, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    And all my goosebumps yell Yes! Thank you for an uplifting arm around my shoulders this morning.

  • Laura Thurston October 27, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Of all your wonderful writings, this one really spoke to me! Love you Karyn!

  • Tracy February 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hey You Karen, just discovered your site and so happy I did. You are a beautiful writer. A poet. I wish I had words like yours. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing them and for making me appreciate the beauty of life on this rainy BC morning. 🙂