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A Short Letter to Those Who Do Not Want to Live

"Siesta", Henri Charles Manguin ( 23 March 1874 – 25 September 1949), French

Dear person who does not want to live, Witness the world, the wind, the flower as it moves. See what the living are too busy to see, and hear. If love is not found among the familiar and unfamiliar of the living, if not even the call of love comes to initiate you into life, you witness and love — offer to the world what it couldn’t offer you. In redeeming it, you will redeem yourself and in witnessing you will learn that you can live it all — be a horse on the fields, and the fish in the pond, and a man and a woman, and the fool who screams obscenities, and the poor and the rich. The flowers will borrow your consciousness to dream their own dreams, and the fearful rabbits will think of their fears through you.

By the end, you will say: "Everything has happened to me, love and hate and indifference. And war and peace. And I was poor and I was rich. I hurt and was hurt. I killed and I was slain. I lived my enemy’s life, and he lived mine. Often I was an enemy to myself and to everything divine in me. I had slain God to give space the demons that devoured me. I was bound and walked the life trying to bind others. My envy of their life consumed me. I carried a deep defect and was denied something essential. I was born to life and not even life was allowed to me. And every time the Life knocked at my door, I was afraid, and I withdrew into my shadowy realms once again. Humiliated by fears and sorrows, I gazed upon the Beauty that invited me into play. But that too, I was afraid to follow. Her sweet song was but screeching of the crows, the great announcer of death. What a cursed being was I, afraid of life and even more afraid to die. And as I gazed upon the Beauty, whether from terror or from admiration, I would not know, a teardrop moved from my eye. An offering. For all my fears and for all my weaknesses, I was redeemed because of the tear. The only pulse of Life I had, I offered at the Beauty’s altar. The crows continued to screech, my fear became pity, and the pity became compassion. I died in the Beauty’s embrace.”


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