Maybe you want to do what you want to do, but have you done it?
I want to do what I want to do. I want to write stories and have them read by hundreds and thousands of people. Even millions. I want them to have an aura of their own and I want them to find special nooks in people’s hearts.
And I know that in a hundred years my name will never even have existed, unless it does in somebody’s mouldy attic. In fact, in another thousand years, it will be like none of us have ever existed.
I stopped by Castle Howard in Yorkshire yesterday as part of my current two week road trip. It is stunning, beautiful, all the original furniture from the 1700s still stands, and the owners, when it is not open to the public during the winter months, still live there! Which, to me, is simply fascinating. The mansion is beyond any regular proportions of any lovable house in the UK today (well, I think), and yet the tenth generation of Howards still house under its magnificent and famous roofs and have parties and guests in its renowned guest rooms – with the same decor, I might add, that they had in 1800.
I saw a central fountain of brilliant marble depicting mermen blowing water through horns on to a strong man carrying a giant marble ball on his back. I meandered through thousands of rose bushes contained within wonderfully shaped hedges. And, later, as I sat in the gardens, the hills rolling away in the distance, meeting the glittering lake to the left of the house, I thought, well imagine all the generations of people who visited this place and were awestruck by it. Imagine the previous family who flourished and died within these walls, imagine their lives and stories and ambitions.
We know nothing of those details, yet those details were tremendous to those experiencing them at that moment in time.
In the same way that our details are tremendous, our lives are so crammed with thoughts and experiences and things we want to share or feel we need to share and express – and yet, for what purpose, really?
It will all rot away and decompose anyway, and most likely not be remembered. And, given this fact, how important in the grand scheme of things is it really?
I have not done what I want to do. And this is not to say that what I want to do is not important. It is to say that I want what I want to do to be important for the short while that it will be relevant, because that is the only window I have.
Time is a cruel creature, but time is also wisdom and motivation.