From the novelist Richard Ford:
"And I thought that one natural effect of life is to cover you in a thin layer of … what? A film? A residue or skin of all the things you’ve done and been and said and erred at? I’m not sure. But you are under it, and for a long time, and only rarely do you know it, except that for some unexpected reason or opportunity you come out—for an hour or even a moment—and you suddenly feel pretty good. And in that magical instant you realize how long it’s been since you felt just that way. Have you been ill, you ask. Is life itself an illness or a syndrome? Who knows? We’ve all felt that way, I’m confident, since there’s no way that I could feel what hundreds of millions of other citizens haven’t.
Only suddenly, then, you are out of it—that film, that skin of life—as when you were a kid. And you think: this must’ve been the way it was once in my life, though you didn’t know it then, and don’t really even remember it—a feeling of wind on your cheeks and your arms, of being released, let loose, of being the light-floater. And since that is not how it has been for a long time, you want, this time, to make it last, this glistening one moment, this cool air, this new living, so that you can preserve a feeling of it, inasmuch as when it comes again it may just be too late. You may just be too old. And in truth, of course, this may be the last time that you will ever feel this way again.”
submitted by Matthew Smith
Hearing the invisible, seeing the unheard.
I think that I have always known, from an early age, that my ikigai is helping the invisible to be seen, helping the voiceless to be heard, and helping the forgotten to be remembered. I understand that, in this day and age, we can easily get caught up in our own journey. But by doing so, we fail to see the truths that surround us, we fail to hear what is being said around us, and we fail to remember the sacrifices that others made for us so that we can enjoy the privilege of indulging in our own journey. I wake up every day with the hopes of finding others who are willing to share their ikigai with me in order to help those who have yet to find their own.