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  • Writer's picturedavidauten


There is a delightful strangeness about life, one that haunts and will not let you go. You can feel it in the middle of the night when the world has gone silent and you lie still, observing the miracle of existence around you. It is there in the morning, among the mountains, at the seaside, in your bedroom and just outside your front door, noticeable in a moment before you begin racing, planning, managing, and simply stand before the new day and breathe. In the hustle and bustle of life it is there, too, thinly veiled, beneath the surface of all that now, after so many years, seems normal. Of course nothing is normal, and there is no such thing as ordinary. The extraordinary quality of the world lies barely hidden in the fact that none of this had to be. You might not have been. The world as it is might have been another way or perhaps not at all. Yet there it is, as it is, and there you are, as you are. There is a thereness to existence, something you had nothing to do with creating, and nothing you can do to prevent from ending. Additionally—as if that was not enough—there is an inviolable uniqueness to your thereness. You can only ever be how you are, as Miranda July once put it. This may sound obvious. But it is not. In fact, so much of your life can be spent unknowingly running away from yourself, secretly evading and hiding from yourself, such that you scarcely realize it before your days are far spent. It takes courage to break through the banality of blending in to uncloak the peculiarity of your uniqueness, and such courage can only be found by risking the vulnerability of opening your heart to another. This is actually the meaning of the word courage from the Latin cor meaning “heart.” Opening your heart to another, finding faith and courage to share yourself just as you are, unadorned and awkward, beautiful and magnificent, this is what it means to join the strange flurry of life already precipitating long before you arrived.

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