May my body not retire this terra firma without first embracing the full essence of life and it’s generous, vibrant offerings! Let me not stand in my raw, sodden grave, clinging to the edge of existence by my fingertips wailing for an opportunity to try again, to start anew. Please, not that! Anything, anything but that!
I would be satisfied to lie in the deep hollows of my eternal resting place wishing I had succeeded more but at the very least knowing I had tried. I am able to endure the battles lost; I am incapable of enduring the regret of walking away.
The person who wiles away, day after day, lounging on blankets and pillows while dreaming of virgin mountains will never be named an eminent explorer. The person who waxes poetic of filling the air at Carnegie Hall with a golden tapestry of song, but never lifts an instrument, will surely not be addressed as Maestro.
Did the exalted know, when they took their initial steps, where they would conclude or to what extent they would journey? I think not. For no soul has been gifted the fabled, glittering lantern which lights a hundred years hence. We are given light to guide us, but only the single next stone is unveiled by its brightness.
One must trust that just beyond current seeing lies the path upon which they are to tread. The path may not be polished, in fact seldom is it so. It may gyrate and transform making some steps less assured than the ones before — but it will always be there. There will always be a path.
How many people whom we applaud have fallen flat along the way? Some have fallen spectacularly. Some have fallen a hundred times over. Falling need not be an end unto itself.
There are some who have fallen and stood again but never been crowned with accolades; their names lost to the infinite ether. But they died knowing they dared. They reaped the satisfaction of living their path instead of forever dwelling in the land of someday.
Please, please may I be one of those who venture forth. If I fail, if I fall, if my body lies crumpled on the stones, by the grace of all that is holy may I pick myself up again, and again, and again, until my body is too weak to try once more. And if I may be a blessed one, if I am one who’s path leads to the stars, then let me shine bright and illuminate the way for others.
For no matter how dark, how dreary, how oppressive one’s earthbound existence may feel, they surely must know that there will always be a path. There will always be a way. There will always be a next step.