The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.
—In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery
One of the assignments in my daughter’s latest MBA class will be to write her obituary. It’s a standard values clarification exercise. I pretty much know my own values by now and the idea of an obituary sounds a bit too wordy for me. But I have been playing with epitaphs, brief summaries of my values. I’ve come up with three.
The first one is a natural for Cheerful Monk: Never been eaten by a crocodile.
The second one would be At home in the universe. That search took a lot of my time in my early years.
But those two aren’t quite enough, they don’t have enough passion. So I’ll add a third,
Just a little clod with a stir of might.
That comes from a segment of poetry by James Russell Lowell:
Every clod feels a stir of might,
And instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers.
It reminds me of John Campbell in The Power of Myth
People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality….
Yep, that’s me, just a little clod with a stir of might. There’s a little life in the old gal yet, and I treasure it. 🙂
What about you? How would you sum up your values, your life?