Friday, October 16, 2009


I have been thinking a lot lately about the concept of purpose. Perhaps some think of it as direction... or purpose-fulness... or meaning. Many names, likely many varieties and variations.

But something we all seek, I think. Something we all yearn for.

So what is purpose? I have been trying to parse out my own definition for it, and think it links to something that is larger than myself. Being actively engaged in a daily sort of way in an activity or being or pursuit that ultimately responds to the people around me in a way that is compassionate and engaged.

I might also add authentic. So... engaged, compassionate, authentic - and useful. One of the reasons I began to question theatre as a career was I often felt it was not useful enough in the lives of the people who came to see it. In other words... I began to wonder if there might be a way in which I could interact with others that might ultimately serve them in more concrete and lasting ways.

Which is not to say performance and art and theatre have no purpose. Quite the opposite. I think I needed to be out of it for 4 years to see and appreciate the effect and impact such expressions can have.

But I do believe my larger purpose... my ultimate purpose... might be a bit different than simply standing on stage and performing for others. Perhaps I will eventually be led back to my many buckets theory - which would suggest my truest and most connected form of self might best be attained by doing several different things (for example: a bit of teaching, a bit of theatre, a bit of dance, and some counseling).

Lately, I've begun to wonder if writing is something I should have fought for and worked on a bit harder. If one is to consider the possibility of serving others in some way that is connected to a larger purpose... a divine... a "god" or collective of some kind then I do think that maybe one of my most powerful forms of expression is through the written word.

I'm much better on paper than in person. I've always been able to be more intimate, more honest, more direct, and more articulate via writing. This is in some ways a strength and in other ways, quite a failing.

Purpose, I think, blends our fortes and frailties. It's equal parts triumph and evolution because it affords us the opportunity to both shine and grow. That's my take in this moment, anyway.

So... on the off chance this is the best way to fulfill my purpose as it reaches up toward something bigger than the little "i" of me, I will keep blogging. Just in case it has meaning beyond my experience of tapping keys, snoring dog, and whirling-internal-questioning.

May your purpose be clear to you.

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