Oscar Wilde has that famous saying, where he claims: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”. I can’t help but understand how incredibly right he is, (how accurate and timeless his words really are). When we look at the world, it does seem so… that some people merely survive rather than truly live. But what is the distinction between both? In truth, it is pretty simple to understand… survival, is stagnation; it is an unthinkable apathy, numbness and a sort of incomplete immobility, that freezes and captures; it is a sort of inner and outer death; it is a non belief in change, an inability to experience… a refusal to smile and to laugh, but mostly it is a refusal to love. It is indeed, a sort of survival… a basic level of existence, curled up in safety, far away from the necessity to face fears and doubts. It is to observe and not participate, to walk instead of to run or fly, to be still as the seasons change in the window outside; it is to refuse to change, to deny chances and possibilities.… It is to accommodate, to fit into a small little space, to be narrow-minded and closed hearted… and lastly, it is the inability to gain courage, follow dreams and take chances. That is the worst…. that normal kind of existence with no changes at all: no highs, no lows, no excitements, no dreams… nothing! Just a stable numbness that can be understood (more simply) as surviving. But the real irony of it all, is that those who are sleeping (or surviving), in most cases, don’t even realise it. When we look deep enough, we understand that we all know that place too… because, weather we like it or not, we all need those times too… those silly horrible times of just surviving. Sometimes we need it just for five minutes: when we don’t think, we don’t act, when we don’t create or take chances, and we simply don’t live. But then it is enough. And we hear Life calling… and we move out of those horrible spaces of stagnation. But others… others live there their whole lives, completely immersed into their own decay, completely oblivious to the fact that they are there in the first place.
I am with Oscar Wilde on this one… it is horribly disturbing… this lack of living and desire to just stop being alive. It should be completely unthinkable to stop dreaming at every waking minute, and to stop falling in love, at every changing moment, because on the other side of that specific kind of numbness is the opposite: there is life. There is a life so expansive, so indescribable, and so incredible it makes stagnation and survival seem like a stupid futile waste. There is a life… trying to grow into a million explosions of light, into a billion experiences that ignite the soul and into a trillion moments that awaken the heart. With life… we grow… we watch as the world revolves into infinite beauties, as it unravels into something magical and blissful and we understand that we too are part of this infinite existence. Living is everything… it is to speak, to welcome, to give, to understand, to engage, to comprehend, to cater, to dwell, to observe, to connect… to everything and everyone. It is to create…. thoughts, experiments, dreams, art, sentences, words, moments, experiences and loves… It is to discover… beauty, connections, improbabilities, myths, stories, emotions, and innate desires… It is to be awed by the infinite extraordinary moments that can happen, even in the most unlikely of places. I don’t know about you, but as for me? I choose LIFE. Always have, always will. And if, in some moment, I ever find myself sleeping, I jolt myself right back into existence… I go outside, I smell the flowers, I look at the sunset, I dance like a fool… or I create (write or paint)… and as if by magic, life begins to open up once more.
The picture above was taken at St. Marks Basilica, in Venice, in February 2016.