Emerson’s nonlinear nature is best personified by the following passage from his famous essay:
One does not interfere with life’s vast curves, prematurely forcing them into a circle of ellipse, but only that arc which one clearly sees, and perhaps at a later observation, a remote curve of the same orbit, and waits for a new opportunity, well assured that these observed arcs will consist of each other.
His words are heavy and complicated and beautiful.
My interpretation of this poetic insight relates to the unlikely trajectories our lives often take. Because no matter how much the world knocks us around like pinballs, our journey still has a unifying through line. A narrative spine. A thematic sweep that links the path together.
We might not realize it at the time. Or ever, for that matter. But if we can trust the process, along with the universe that shepherds it, no matter how chaotic and divergent things may feel, we can still remind ourselves that we have hope.
We can still look forward to looking back.
My mentor once said that the definition of what is and what is not a good life have been permanently altered, and can be molded to fit the needs of our unique incarnation on this bizarre blue marble.
And so, instead of trusting anyone who tells us how our story goes, let us trust the process. Let us trust our changes.
The myth isn’t done to us, it’s something we choose.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Ten years from now, what will be the narrative pattern that gives significance to your existence?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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