Little Pink Spoon #9 from The Wheel of Creativity

This post is part of a series of excerpts from my forthcoming book. You can read them all in the Little Pink Spoons category. You can get advance notice of the book by subscribing to my Creative Adventure Journal over there to your right.

Something Out There Calling In my senior year at Wheaton College I discovered Rainer Maria Rilke’s advice in his Letters to a Young Poet. It was as if he was writing to me:

You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear [girl], to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

I exhaled completely. I wrote those words on a tiny brown piece of paper and carried it with me everywhere. For years. Those few words changed the course of my life. They move me still. This was my first big clue from Life: “Love the questions,” he said. And for the first time in my life, I began to do so. I loved them as an expression of all that was good in me. I loved them as an expression of God. What I found, when for the first time in my life I allowed myself to ask my questions, to live my questions, was that the answers I heard from the powers in “the box” were too small for me. Each time I heard an answer, I had a larger question. And then, I exhaled again. In Peter Weir’s 1998 film, The Truman Show, Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, the unwitting star of an elaborate TV show, whose entire life has been created and sustained for a television audience. The film comes to an end as Truman discovers the edge of the set and a tiny door in an expansive section of a painted blue sky. As the show director Christof tries to persuade him to stay, Truman responds, “In case I don’t see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.” He bows to his audience and steps through the door into the real world he knew not at all. Like Truman in that closing shot, I had found the edge of my box. In his advice to his young poet, Rilke had returned to me my compass of curiosity. And that was the beginning of living for me. As bruised and scratched as I might have been along the way from living my life on that edge, it has been my liberation. It has led me to my purpose. And you?  What do you need to live that calls you from beyond the edges of your life today? Share your story – leave a comment. Continued next Monday… To be sure you don’t miss an installment, sign up for Blog Alerts. Just fill in the top box over to the right there to get email updates. In the meantime… Live CREATIVE!