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    Henry Miller once wrote that "how one orients himself to the moment depends on the failure or fruitfulness of it." Indeed, this act of orienting ourselves -- to the moment, to the world, to our own selves -- is perhaps the most elusive art of all, and our attempts to master it often leave us fumbling, frustrated, discombobulated. And yet, therein lies our greatest capacity for growth and transcendence. Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That's where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go. The pre-Socratic philosopher Meno poses the basic tactical question in life: How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is total unknown to you? Consider this. The things we want are transformative, and we don't know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration -- how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory, about becoming someone else?

    Among life's most abiding questions and the history of human creativity (in our art, poetry and philosophy) is ... do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?

    Friedrich Nietzsche believed that embracing difficulty is essential for a fulfilling life because the journey of self-discovery is one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties. Nietzsche wrote:

    "Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. Let him follow his conscience, which calls out to "Be yourself! All that you are now doing, thinking, desiring, all that is not you." Every young soul hears this call by day and by night and shudders with excitement at the premonition of that degree of happiness which eternities have prepared for those who will give thought to their true liberation. There is no way to help any soul attain this happiness, however, so long as it remains shackled with the chains of opinion and fear. And how hopeless and meaningless life can become without such a liberation! There is no drearier, sorrier creature in nature than the man who has evaded his own genius and who squints now towards the right, now towards the left, now backwards, now in any direction whatever."

    And, as Picasso proclaimed, "to know what you're going to draw, you have to begin drawing" as the antidote to existential dreariness. No one can build you the bridge on which you and only you must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across, but only at a price of pawning and foregoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don't ask: WALK!

Victoria Generao