Do You Know What You’re Doing?!

freud“Do you have any idea what you’re doing?!” echoes a voice in my head with regularity these days. Its tone is parental, unbelieving, and incredulous. It is designed to stop me in my tracks; to make me hang my head in shameful acknowledgement that no, in fact I have no idea what I’m doing; and then to have me recant of my dreams and return to the safety and security of, “the real world.”

I have been answering to this voice most of my life. Even when I have gone ahead and followed my dreams, it has followed along, standing in the background, frowning, tsking, and waiting for me to come to my senses. I am frankly tired of listening to it.

Engaging this voice is usually an exercise in futility because it demands to be engaged on its own terms. I end up trying to justify my dreams using the same language and paradigm of the voice. But lately, during my long walks, I have been finding the spaciousness and freedom from which I have been able to see more clearly the authentic nudging of my own heart.

I certainly don’t know what the future will hold. I certainly don’t know what exact forms our housing will take in the coming year. I don’t know how our gifts and crafts will be exchanged for supportive income. I don’t know what my health, or Nancy’s, will be in the coming years. I don’t know how a changing climate and disintegrating society will influence our path. So, as far as forms and securities are concerned, no, I don’t know much, if anything. I’m learning as I go along.

But there are things I do know. I know what it feels like to love and be loved by another human being. I know by direct experience the fundamental nurture of Mother Earth and the unity of all Life.  I know that both Nancy and I are committed to finding an, “appropriate way of living a human experience within the context of the natural world.” I know that the culture in which I live does not support this way of living. I know that a radical and comprehensive revolution is necessary for humans to survive. I know that I must make my own contribution to this revolution. I know that the time is short – mine and the culture’s – and that therefore my own contribution must be made with my whole heart, spirit, and life. These things I know, and it is from this knowing that I will guide my life.


4 thoughts on “Do You Know What You’re Doing?!

  1. What you’re doing is called “pioneering,” what you’ve been doing for decades. And just like all pioneers, you are forging a path of discovery that others may follow into the future. Bravo, Bill…………bravo……………………….(just a thought from the student to her teacher.) Gee, wonder where I learned that one?


    1. We’re all pioneers in the unknown territory called, “our life.” None of us has been over this particular countryside before. We’re all heroes and heroines.


  2. If we are to live with authenticity, we can’t afford to allow the voices of convention and social conformity to direct our steps and forge our path for us. I believe that those who profess knowledge of the “right” or “safe” path suffer from a dangerous degree of ignorance. Safety is an illusion; we live out our lives on ever-shifting ground. That is the nature of Nature. None of us know what we’re doing. We don’t know what changes the future may bring. We cannot trust with certainty that the nest egg we may have amassed will see us through. The choices we make today may no longer make any sense at all in some nearby future world. If we are not listening to that still small voice within us which guides the steps we take day by day, moment by moment, we are making a travesty of our brief dance with creation. Thank you, William, for helping me to keep time with the Dance.


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