“No man is an island, entire of itself every man is a piece of the continent a part of the main…” John Donne, Poet
I believe this truth is vitally essential to live in response to – as a person and more importantly, as a writer. If every life is meant to be affected by others, connected in a larger way – where your input has value in my life and informs what I do for good or for bad, to inspire and teach and vice versa… Well, wow now. Think of the massive potential to reach our fullness as artists, writers, creative explorers and human beings to impact the world when we realize the power to get from here to there lies in me knowing you and us sharing what each has learned day by day…
No man is an island…
an island – adrift, in solitude…
Now dont get me wrong, I love to dig my feet into the powdery white stuff that litters a beachy, rock encrusted land mass just as much as the next person, but I certainly wouldn’t want to live my existence there. forever. all. alone.
If one is an introvert (which I tend to be) it might be nice for a time…no cell phones, social media silenced, away from – work, paying bills, slow drivers, weekly menu planning, pressures, crazy…
… but then how long before loneliness would inevitably conquer the short-lived glee? How long would inspiration stay, uninspired by other human life?
Taking a cue from Tom Hanks in Castaway, I’d probably be tripping over my feet to grab the nearest coconut – etching a face into it’s exterior and pretending I had someone in the coconuty-flesh to talk to.
That or make a mad swim for it back to habitated land.
I am convinced, no person is meant to operate at their optimal, inspiration-filled self if they’re cutoff from others.
We cannot live without one another.
At least, not truly well. A vulnerable thought, to be sure.
But it is from one another that we experience life in an expanding, idea-provoking way.
For example, I had a conversation with a friend of mine today who explained a life truth with a jaw-dropping analogy.
She said she was learning how our painful life experiences, set backs and even failures were very much like the ingredients of a cake. On their own, flour, shortening, butter, eggs – they taste disgusting. Pitiful excuse for food. Just like our string of hurts and failures.
But mixed all together – those ingredients form something beautiful and appetizing. Something that others can participate in and be enriched by. When shared and ingested – one can be filled with insight, caution and wisdom.
I never thought to compare my life’s difficulties to cake ingredients, but it totally works! And just thinking about it gets my mouth watering a little bit and my creative juices flowing to see what other food analogies I can make relevant for life.
My point being, we need one another for continual insight, for challenging us to be more than we settle for. For necessary morale boosting when pesky writer’s block sets in, for encouragement and support, insightful feedback and yes, even painful critiques.
For discovering how each one of us can see the same movie or read the same passage, but all take away something entirely different.
We are better for the richness of living in community. For sharing our lives with one another.
As John Donne goes on to say, every man’s death has the power to diminish us, make us less better off for the no-longer-knowing of them.
So in this independent, me-focused, i-dont-need-anyone culture we find ourselves wading through, be intentional with reaching out to find a life-enriching crowd around you.
If you can’t seem to find a group of writers, or inspired life journeyers, than form one yourself. Be the change you want to see!
Heck, we’d love to connect with you in this online wanderWowl neighborhood as well. We value your voice.
What are your thoughts on the value of living intentionally seeking after community? As a writer? Dreamer? Human being? Yay, nay or undecided…?
Poet John Donne (1572-1631)
“All mankind is of one author,
and is one volume;
when one man dies,
one chapter is not torn out of the book,
but translated into a better language;
and every chapter must be so translated…
As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon,
calls not upon the preacher only,
but upon the congregation to come:
so this bell calls us all:
but how much more me,
who am brought so near the door by this sickness….
No man is an island, entire of itself…
every man is a piece of the continent
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less…
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.”