“Either get busy living or get busy dying.”

I ran across this little gem of a directive several days ago, and it has been rambling around in my head since then. “Best practices” distilled. Right now, it’s very early morning, and I’m sitting by the fire in my pajamas, looking through my east-facing window into the dark sky outside. I see the remnants of God’s lesser light in one of my favorite moon phases, what I have always called a “fingernail moon,” and a single star to the east of it. I am tempted to recite the childhood verse with a twist:

Star light, star bright

Last star I see tonight

I wish I may, I wish I might

Have the wish I wish tonight


Now, I look up and it’s gone. In the time it took to type those few words and think for a minute, the moon and that lonely little star were lost from my view, covered for the remainder of their short life this morning by clouds.

There are many wishes in life, some are frivolous, some are substantial, and some are those prayers we pray fervently on our knees and under our breaths all day and night, day after day and night after night. Some wishes come true with no effort from us, while our eyes are closed, and are seen as gifts from above; others require grinding, energy-sucking, exhausting effort on our part to have even a chance of coming true. But the time comes when, wish granted or not, we must accept what we are given and get back to the business of living authentic, integrated, useful, meaningful, peaceful lives. We must return to ourselves . . . because when you go missing there, you go missing everywhere.


Sometimes we leave our place at life’s table. When we return, we may come back to shuffled chairs and some different people. If our chair is still there, we need to take it, even if it’s in a different place—-settle in, greet old friends, meet new people and listen to their stories, ask politely for someone to pass the green beans and mashed potatoes.

Because—finally—we are hungry again for life.



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