A CELEBRATION OF LIFE - MY 200TH POST
It is exactly three years ago that I wrote my 100th post on my blog. I considered it a milestone in my journey as a writer. It had taken me two years to reach that since I started becoming active on my blog. It has taken me a further three years to reach my 200th post. A slowing down, perhaps? Not really. This journey has taken me through a hundred more posts and my first published work ‘I am just An Ordinary Man’ and the completion of my second book ‘Darkness and Beyond – A Medley of Many Lives’, though I am taking my time before publishing it. The last few months I have been catching up on my reading which had earlier been relegated to the background due to my preoccupation with writing. Two amazing books have stayed with me – ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King and ‘Fallen Leaves’ by Will Durant.
In his book Stephen King says “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut. Good writing teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narration, plot development, the creation of believable characters, and truth telling.
We read to experience the mediocre and the outright rotten; such experience helps us to recognize those things when they begin to creep into our own work, and to steer clear of them. We also read in order to measure ourselves against the good and the great, to get a sense of all that can be done. And we read in order to experience different styles.”
I now read because I want to be a better writer.
Will Durant from the infinite wisdom which he had gathered during the course of his life writes about Life, Love, War and God. Fallen Leaves is considered as his most personal book and the last, presenting his own opinions on the major problems of life, politics, religion, and society. In the Preface to the book he writes-
“Vanity increases with age. Here I am, going on ninety five; by this time I should have learned the art of silence, and should realize that every educated reader has already heard all opinions and their opposites; yet here I set out, fearful and rash, to tell the world – or one hundred millionth of it – just what I think on everything. It is all the more ridiculous since at my age, a man is deeply rooted in the ways or views of his youth, and is almost constitutionally incapable of understanding the changing world that assails him, and from which he tends to flee into the grooves of the past or the safety of his home.”
When I wrote my 100th post I called it ‘A Celebration of My 100th Posting’. Yes, it indeed was a celebration for it was a milestone in my journey as a writer. It is important setting a goal for oneself, for that is what makes you move forward. It is on the way, on that journey, that we start seeing and experiencing things which we have never really understood before. You see things with a new perspective, a perspective that has been sharpened by the experiences on the way.
Now, when I am on the verge of reaching the next milestone on my journey, I pause to reflect on what I have seen and experienced and what I have understood of life and what it means to live. I ask myself the question whether it is vanity that forces me to write. Maybe it is there in some measure but to be truthful I have found that my writing is a mirror I hold in front to understand the lessons that life has taught me. It has taught me that each day is a celebration. As you wake up to see the sun streaming through the windows and you stretch your limbs re-enacting the very process of being born again and to live one more day, it is a celebration.
My second book has as its theme that beyond the darkness that seems to envelop you as night falls there is the hope of light with the dawn of a new day. . It is not only the process of aging and the acceptance of the final exit from this phase of existence that this book is concerned. It touches all those who have passed through the darkness of living and found the light of fulfillment, giving an authenticity to their existence. In that sense every day is a celebration of life. That I thought should be title of this post – A Celebration of Life
“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost
Each day is a little life; every waking and rising, a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death. - Arthur Schopenhauer
I cannot but resist the temptation of ending this post by quoting from Will Durant in his book ‘Fallen Leaves’ –
“Life is that which can hold a purpose for three thousand years and never yield. The individual fails, but life succeeds. The individual is foolish, but life holds in its blood and seed the wisdom of generations. The individual dies, but life, tireless and undiscourageable, goes on, wondering, longing, planning, trying, mounting, longing.”
“Here are children; what is it that makes them so joyous, running madly over the dew-wet grass, laughing, calling, pursing, eluding, panting for breath, inexhaustible? What energy, what spirit and happiness! What do they care about death? They will learn and grow and love and struggle and create, and lift life up one little notch, perhaps, before they die. And when they pass they will cheat death with their children, with parental care that will make their children a little finer than themselves.