What do you do, after Do Lectures?
I just got back from west Wales. That magical, soothing place is hard to leave at the best of times, but this occasion was even harder. This time, I was leaving behind a hundred or so new friends and a palpable sense of purpose and care that very often seems absent in our everyday existence.
I was promised that the Do Lectures would change something and sure enough, something has changed. True, I don’t know what it is yet, but I feel awake. More human than I’ve ever felt, and urgent. Urgent to do something with what I’m feeling.
I have some thoughts about what that may be. The thoughts are in vague shapes: businesses, collaborations, projects, social good. But more than anything I am reminded that we have one life, that we can do more than we think we can, that we have the power to change things and that when you put together a number of people the same way, it can be revolutionary.
So today, I’m back home and back to normality. But even normality looks a little less familiar. I’m finding myself feeling more honestly and more deeply, examining my motivations and challenging my desire for specific outcomes. I find myself looking afresh in astonishment at nature, my children, my own hands. All of these things are put here for us to tend, to nourish and be nourished by, to share. What a gift.
But what I really want to say is that you don’t have to go to Do Lectures to experience this stripping down of life’s ephemera and the revelation of true good and energy and purpose. You just have to surround yourself with good people, ask them to tell you their stories, and listen. And then, when you know what you need to do — and you’ll know, because it will just be right — you do it. You ask for help if you need to. You ignore the dissenters and naysayers and you dig deep for what’s within you. Because it’s all there. I know it is.
This morning, I walked by the river and waded through long grasses that were alive with summer and possibility. Over and over, this closing line from Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day (fittingly enough) ran through my mind:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”.
I don’t know the answer, but I’m getting closer.