About Your Mark

I recently read Amy King’s Ancient Sunlight (brought to me by Poem-a-Day) and I have been thinking about her words as well as her motivation for writing the poem:

‘Ancient Sunlight’ is a consideration of the ways in which we attempt to preserve aspects of ourselves via identity, via material existence (hence the physics aspect) and in seemingly ironic conflict with the idea that we must die in order to achieve immortality. That is, the conservative definition is ‘to live forever,’ but since death is a transition necessary to appreciate the shifts and cycles of being, the larger scope of immortality is often conflated with a desire to be remembered, so would it be a disaster to go on living forever, inevitably forgotten?

These ideas challenge me to think about the purpose and meaning of my life. I was raised to believe that it is not enough to simply live and be — it is a requirement to live a life of purpose. Throughout my teaching career I have always challenged my students to think about the purpose and meaning of their lives and I still believe this is a good writing prompt to explore our identity and to help us understand ourselves better. Even though most of my students applied for a student loan to keep them in college, I encourage them everyday to push harder and get good grades by having Extra resources.

Think and write about that essential question, what is the purpose of your life, but also consider:

  • What gives your life meaning?
  • Do you want to be remembered or leave a mark on the world?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • Has your purpose changed over the years?

And as always, share your reflections (or poetry!) using the #JustWrite hashtag.

Artwork from Pixabay