You begin by saying “I am,” even though you are acutely aware of both your eventual demise, and the likelihood that you will be forgotten in less time than you would wish.
You say “I am” because despite the mists that will sweep away your memory and disperse you over some never-ending ocean, there is something in you that senses a purpose here, inside the droplet of time that is your life.
You don't know if it's because you wish to be fully awake when you shake hands with oblivion, or if your ego is tricking you into believing you might achieve some spark of spiritual survival through the collective memory of future generations. You decide it doesn't matter, because whatever the cause, the itch to create, to weave yourself into all that is, is incurable.
You force the proclamation from your throat and listen for how far the sound travels. Not far. Nevermind. This small circle is enough space for you to play and experiment. You know that if your intentions are honest and you practice long enough, your hamster wheel will begin to move.
Again and again the path muddies, cluttered with distractions and exhaustion, and thickened by fear. You slow, you stop. Sometimes you wallow. Other times you accept that at that moment you are simply a broken thing, and you curl yourself up like a bear awaiting the spring melt.
You are learning patience. It will come.
First the sun only skirts the horizon. But day by day it stretches its limbs until the mud can’t resist its warm embrace and begins to let go. After some tentative rocking you feel yourself released, and you begin to inch forward once more.
You meet people whose knowledge and kindness act as propellants for growth and a salve for pain. They remind you not to take the scenery for granted. As you progress, you become more proficient at identifying obstacles and collecting lessons to apply to new challenges. You meet others and pass on what you've learned, namely that gratitude creates the most sustainable traction. If you are stuck, add some gratitude and try again.
You begin more and more to venture off the path. You discover new vistas and get bogged down in wild landscapes. Your work becomes something you struggle to explain to people. After all, there is no plan, no perfect outcome you'll produce with a flourish when it’s finally the end of the road. The road WILL end, and all you want to be able to say is that you were thorough in your search. To feel that you've earned your rest.