Red berries in winter.

I wake up sometimes with a jolt worrying about being poor, utterly without resources—paralyzed by a vision of myself as homeless, friendless, stuck, pathetic. It’s a horrible feeling.

It’s also a fear belied by everything real in my life. What I find especially oppressive about it is that it shuts down the impulses I most wish to nurture in myself: enthusiasm, generosity, optimism, curiosity. Paradoxically, it keeps me from doing exactly those things that are most likely to prevent that restricted, narrow vision of the future from coming true.

Even if I do wind up impoverished, I’d much rather end up that way having lived a life fueled by an acknowledgement of abundance—generously, enthusiastically, optimistically, adventurously—than otherwise. Even if my memory is notoriously crappy (and it is), I’d rather know or even be told that I’d lived that way, than have regrets about being stingy with my love or my creativity or my resources—whether to myself or others.

You can’t take it with you. Fire it up, put it to use, make it count.

A Year Ago: Lovely Boy

Portrait of a young boy.It’s traditional to picture the past year as an old man, and the new year as a newborn baby…
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