Manifesto: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
I believe that life is not about how much you make, but about making much of what you have. The person in front of you right now is the most important, the house that hugs you with warmth and light after the cold, darkness of a long day, the time you carve out for what you believe in most. Fully aware that every action, every choice reflects your view and hope for the world. Praying it is kind and filled with hope and meaning for you. And me.
I believe that life is meant to be lived outside with the wind in your hair, fully immersed in the cycles of nature. Stars at night, bird songs at dawn, super moons and new moons, lush and barren and lush once again. Where the wind brings news of weather to come as well as distant lands. And the temples of the orient are in my backyard as much as in my nose while my forest travels onward to the sands of the Sahara where people look different, speak different, think different, but hope for the same. Because we are all human.
I believe in letters, hand written from the heart with black ink on paper as fine as bedsheets, smooth and flowing, works of love and art and soft against the most sensitive parts of our existence. Addressed with full honor for the regal spirit of the receiver who may yet wear a servant’s smock. Lovingly preserved and tempered by time until it becomes as fragile as bone but filled with legacy that touches the fringe of history. And life goes on.
I believe in the simple and beautiful. A glass bottle. Perhaps it contained a treasure map or a message of lost love, broken and shattered and tossed in tumultuous seas and sands and rocks passing unknown creatures of the deep before resting smoothly, peacefully waiting to delight the pirate or princes, or even a child, equally. A tea mug. Hand painted and alone amidst discarded ornaments and dodads, also waiting. But for fulfillment and warmth, to be held close in the chill of morning while the dogs race about the yard. The smell of lavender every time I cross a portal marking the boundaries of my home.
I believe in dinners made from real food grown by people I know and see and trust, and made by hand, eaten in candlelight or under a chandelier dripping with the formality we are told is pretentious, but I’ve discovered is a discipline that makes joie de vivre a certainty. In telling stories of the day and the past and your hopes for the future over cups of tea and coffee while seated in overstuffed chairs in the heart of downtowns everywhere. In lullabies and fairy tales. Because the monster under my bed is really real at 2am when I just want to know I am protected and cared for and not alone. Because I believe that good, kind, generous spirits will win. And prince charming isn’t a myth. Nor is he the prize.
But what is my intent? And my motive? I struggle with these, but in the end, my daughters, their friends, the volleyball and soccer teams I coach, they must know this too or risk being chained to their lives by the money they will be told is all powerful and demanding. It’s not true! So too, the children in our West end who hear nothing but disparaging remarks until they believe it and spread it to others. And the people shouting to be heard until they’re hoarse and hopeless warning of the train’s fast arrival, or its departure, or its eminent destruction, or the circus it carries. And the Golden Generation who want to know their legacies will live on, their hard lessons learned not forgotten, their voices not silenced, their stories told.
Everyday holds a thousand chances, and treasures, and moments of undefinable kismet if we only pay attention. Because I believe that all is one. And everything is connected. Just as we are. Maktub.