Another year is starting, so I’m feeling reflective. Naturally I turn to other writers for their wisdom and inspiration. One of them asks a question that you might not be able to answer, but that you might want to think about all year long — and for the rest of your life, too.
I don’t have permission to reprint it here, but you can read it at this link, and you can order her books from Beacon Press. (Please support Beacon Press. They are a fiercely independent publishing house that has brought us many American important voices.)
I’ll just reprint my favorite lines, which come at the end:
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Re-reading this poem reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes, which is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. A card with this saying has been posted on my various office walls for 20 years.
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
These are simple ideas and wishes from two very different, but very intelligent and thoughtful people, who worked hard at understanding life.