Write your own life

Suppose someone gave you a pen – a sealed, solid-colored pen.

You couldn’t see how much ink it had. It might run dry after the first few tentative words or last just long enough to create a masterpiece (or several) that would last forever and make a difference in the scheme of things. You don’t know before you begin.

Under the rules of the game, you really never know. You have to take a chance!

Actually, no rule of the game states that you must do anything. Instead of picking up and using the pen, you could leave it on a shelf or in a drawer where it will dry up, unused.

But if you do decide to use it, what would you do with it? How would you play the game?

Would you plan and plan before you ever wrote a word? Would your plans be so extensive that you never even got to the writing?

Or would you take the pen in hand, plunge right in and just do it, struggling to keep up with the twists and turns of the torrents of words that take you wherever they take you?

Would you write cautiously and carefully, as if the pen might run dry the next moment, or would you pretend or believe (or pretend to believe) that the pen will write forever and proceed accordingly?

And what would you write: Of love? Hate? Fun? Misery? Life? Death? Nothing? Everything?

Would you write to please just yourself? Or others? Or yourself by writing for others?

Would your strokes be tremblingly timid or brilliantly bold? Fancy with a flourish or plain?

Would you even write? Once you have the pen, no rule says you have to write. Would you sketch? Scribble? Doodle or draw?

Would you stay in or on the lines, or see no lines at all, even if they were there? Or are they?

There’s a lot to think about here. isn’t there?

Now, suppose someone gave you a life….

-David A. Berman in ‘Chicken Soup for the soul’

PS: I just loved this piece. A beautiful way to think of life, innit?



Filed under Life, Motivation, Musings, Reading Ramana, Sourced

9 responses to “Write your own life

  1. I liked this story too. Good one!

  2. That’s really nice…Reminds me of one of Feynman’s quotes – if the whole world were to be destroyed and just one line is to be passed on to the next generation for a new beginning altogether, the line from which everything else could be built- it has to be ‘Everything in the universe is made of atoms.’

    Coming back to this, yes, life is so full of uncertainties. Whether they make it more interesting or frustrating is debatable. Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg is a small yet powerful book that talks on these lines. Write boldly and spontaneously (as anything written after too much thinking might as well not be written down at all), write for others (as happiness for the self is of no relevance in the long run) would be my take.

    Nice thoughtful post. Good pic to go with.


  3. Vishakha

    This is an amazing piece ……. makes you ponder on things oh!! so indispensibe & fragile.

  4. By David A. Berman is it? Initially when I started reading I thought it was by Priya Iyer! πŸ™‚

    Yup, a nice metaphor. Thanks for sharing.

  5. priyaiyer


    thanks! welcome here again! πŸ™‚


    wow! that quote is so inspiring! πŸ™‚

    thanks for the comment! πŸ™‚

    i would very much do the same. write spontaneously, slowly and steadily, as much for my own sake as for others… πŸ™‚ would write till there is no ink left to write…


    thank you so much! πŸ™‚


    he he! you are welcome! πŸ™‚

  6. Two things come to my mind:

    1. A good plan executed right now is much better than an excellent plan executed next week.

    2. Energy MUST flow. If trapped unused, it will be harmful.

  7. priyaiyer


    very very true! πŸ™‚

  8. good stuff! where do you tumble into all these things?? You have always managed to come up with some real good stuff.

  9. priyaiyer

    @rusty neurons

    thanks! don’t know how! i just tumble into stuff like this… πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s