Life Is More
I was reading an essay by the columnist Anna Quindlen, and a single line stopped me in my tracks. I remember the quote being (though I can’t find it a second time), “Life is a circle and not a line.” Whether or not that’s what she said, that’s what I remember, and it stuck with me.
I am a climber. I like to accomplish things. I like to check things off my task list. I hate the thought of being called “lazy”, the four-letter word that would cut into me more quickly than any profanity. Yet in this quote, I saw something I desired for myself more than being seen as an accomplisher.
Living life as a line means I live life as if all that matters is accomplishing my goals, my dreams, my desires. If it doesn’t serve the end, I need to cut it out. I had been living that way, and found my life to be accomplishment rich and friend poor. I saw that I was missing out on precious time with my wife and children. And I was treating casual encounters with others as either formalities or, much worse, distractions.
Living life as a circle means that is a territory to explore. That means the things that surround me, the people I meet, the chores of every day life can be an end in themselves. Life is to be enjoyed, lived, and explored in the few short days we have.
Pay special attention to the third verse, my life’s prayer. The beautiful harmony vocals you hear on it come from my sister and my longest-running musical collaborator, Stephanie Bills.
LIFE IS MORE
We fought our way across the ocean
We fought our way across the plains
And filled this land
From shore to shore
With our dreams and our European names
Now we fight our way up corporate ladders
We beat a path to money and success
And wonder why
After all this time
We can’t find the road to happiness
Life is more than a race
So much more than a mountain to climb
It’s wider and deeper
Richer and sweeter
Life is more
So much more
We push our kids ahead of all the others
And fill their days with “have to” and with “should”
Like soldiers they
March through their days
Past the fields of play and childhood
We can wrap our arms around each moment
Grateful for each breath we get to take
Hearts and eyes
To the ones we get to love along the way