One Wild and Precious Life - 2019 Annual Gathering

Thank you for sharing your valuable time with us in Washington. Despite the foul weather, we had a formidable turnout with rich and inspiring conversations. I hope that certain voices spoke to you in corners of your heart and mind where you needed insight, truth, comfort or inspiration. Our aim is that we become better versions of ourselves as a result of sharing such times together. PathNorth is a community of fellow ‘seekers’ trying to understand what Freud described as the ‘riddle of life.’ Exploring in the company of others is reassuring; we are all looking for clues and answers. Peer to peer learning is often the best way to discover new insights.

You might recall that we began and ended our time at The LINE DC Hotel with author Mary Oliver’s provocative question:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver

Many never dare to venture into such seemingly uncomfortable territory and rather consign themselves to a life busy being busy, running yet never arriving. PathNorth attempts to interrupt that familiar cadence and insinuates the right questions to provoke introspection and soul searching. Doing this in the company of other thoughtful probers encourages us all to risk a deeper dive. Thanks for jumping into the deep end of the pool!

Let me close this note by citing much of a poem by Edgar Lee Masters. It speaks to the relationship between risk and meaning.

A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me. And I shrank from its disillusionment
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness.
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire—
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.