It’s Already Gone
“You can’t take a picture of this, it’s already gone.”
-Nate, Six Feet Under
After a while it becomes obvious.
I’m surprised I didn’t see it before, but regardless of my inability to understand the truth in the past, now I get it.
It is not called “The Way” because it is about some end result.
It is called “The Way” because it is the way.
It all comes down to an aphorism — The way you do anything is the way you everything.
On the surface it appears simple, almost silly.
But when I started to dig deeper into the meaning of those few words, I started to become surprised at how true they really were.
When I finally paid attention to that truth, it also became apparent that changing how I do anything will also change how I do everything.
That has most been the most revelational truth that I have pondered within the last few years.
When we get right down to building the bones of our lives, we want those bones to be good.
Those bones hold us together.
What I look for in friends and companions are those good bones.
I look for people who express the truth in who they are and what they do.
The word truth comes from an ancient root, the Proto-Indo-European word “dru” which means “firm, oak”.
Our word for truth comes from the steadfast reality of a hardwood oak tree.
The people that I care about have roots that anchor them like an oak tree, and have branches that are spread out and provide shelter. They offer abundant nourishment and hang on to their leaves far too long into the winter.
An oak tree is a beautiful image for the truth.
An oak seedling contains the same spirit that exists in a towering tree. In each branch, we see the fractal nature of the tree’s growth.
The Way We Do Anything, Is The Way We Do Everything.
I also know it is easy to become overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.
That is why I try to only focus on getting one important thing done per day, outside of my daily regimen of chores and writing.
One important thing a day doesn’t sound like a lot to do, but in reality that simple focus for me leads me to do one other important thing, and then one other important thing, and so on.
But if I don’t get past that first important thing, I know that at the very least I am getting 365 important things done per year.
And each of those things need to be done as truly as I can do them, or I might as well not do any of them at all.
Because in the end, it is about the way we do things, and not the things at all. It is not about the end product, it is about the journey to the end product. The end product is almost an afterthought.
We have to focus on how we want our bigger lives to look before we can choose how to live our smaller lives each day.
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
And for me, what drives me and what attracts me is the truth.
As Hemingway said, “All you need to do is write one true sentence.” He got that half right.
You also need to continue to write one true sentence until you cannot do so anymore.
Because that one true sentence is already gone, like a droplet of water cascading down a waterfall.