STOIC POETRY | The bullseye aim
Updated: Sep 4, 2021
Whenever I strive, I always fall short. For the fact of striving makes me miss the mark. It would be better to become educated, without seeking an education. Or make a living without the need of a job. Or enjoy friendship, without counting friends. Or adventure even, without packing or leaving home or even remaining at home— But this isn't practical at all, and no way to live and find a mate, and raise children, and make a home or live a life.
Every ambition, A near miss— Even the bullseye hits, A near miss—
So, I will grow, and become educated, and find adventure and then a job, and a mate, and make a home, filled with family and I will strive. All good things. All necessary things. And I will tell myself that I have thus hit the mark—and I have, in a way, hit a mark. And I will grow old, and become weak, and enjoy grandkids at my feet; such evidence I've hit a mark, such a very good life, such an excellent use of time. And I will be right—I have hit a mark. And I will die well satisfied in my bullseye aim. What else was there to strive for? What other aim could I see? What did I miss??
There is no other aim... Which is where striving never leads. For the bullseye is a silent and invisible thing, never gained through trying, never found after being sought. Never lived but through not living—and who does not wish to live?
And so grow, and become educated, and have adventure and then a job, and find a mate, and make a home, filled with family and do strive. All good things. All necessary things. But, do not expect to hit the mark—expect instead, to miss, always. And lift your chin to the sun and let a smile creep across your face, a genuine grin, through your eyes, of tempered expectation and anticipation of a good life whatever may come. A life of good striving. A life of good learning. A life of hard work. A life of family. And a life of friends, and laughter, and cherished moments, and—if very lucky—a gentle decline at the end overlooking all that was lived and done and become. Never asking...what did I miss?
But never, not once even, having hit the mark.
Nor ever, not once, having expected to.
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.
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