Where We Dwell

"Remember, the only thing that matters is you're alive on earth."

Mary Ruefle said this within the first moments of my most recent writing workshop, and amid all the insights both she and fellow advisor Larry Sutin offered in our time together, this aphorism has clung the most to my daily breath. 

"Remember," even though you're distracted by bills and busyness, by the laundry and lack of rice and the text-spam to delete, by the disappearance of summer heat, by the effort it takes to maintain trust, 

"the only thing that matters," even though you make lists that read pay electric, garbage out, change filter, fold clothes, buy rice, block spam, BELIEVE in your work, even though there is so much to do before Sunday, before the snow flies, before you get old,

(the only thing) "is" (as in being / will you just be)

"you're alive on earth," a place you love, a place that loves you back, and an experience—life—that cannot be had by making lists or worrying or filling up stores with regret. You're alive. On earth. Dwell there, in that good and gentle truth. It is more real than any of the rest.

This post was originally published on September 9th, 2010 in the Writer's Block (a great site for aspiring writers--especially those who find themselves in the Midwest).


  1. gah!!! i needed this. post-grad malaise is sinking its teeth in.


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