One thing we learn about life is that we can’t always get what we want. Some people have come to realize that while it may be preferable to live forever — just because they desire it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Many see the opportunity for immortality along other lines. The birthing and tender fostering of children, either our own or those of others, is perhaps the highest of creative acts.
Then there’s the possibility of sending our works out into the world — works so patently good –libraries, scholarships, works of art, music, literature, that they are liable to live on well past our stepping down from the carousel.
In the big picture of things here’s a few concepts worth thinking about:
Make it quality. Quality is always in style. Use sharp tools and lasting materials. It’s better to err or this side than on the other.
Make it personal. Give it your own unique spin. There’s nothing wrong with the Carnegie Library, the Mellon Trust, Whistler’s mother or Mahler’s fifth.
Make it important. It may be a modest contribution, but it need not be small. Life is too short to be small.
Make it from the heart. It’s really as simple as that. Back up and take a look in there and see what it is that needs to be said or done. Annie Dillard said that a writer should write like someone is about to die.
PS: “Your vision will become clear/ Only when you look into your heart/ Who looks outside, dreams / Who looks inside, awakens.” (Carl Jung)