When finding my way as a young man, I came home from college to have a classic argument with my father. Over dinner the first night, I declared to him with excitement that I was a poet. I hadn’t yet written anything but knew it was true. He was incredulous and frustrated and loudly asked, “How are you going to make a living?” I’m not sure where it came from in me, but I looked at him and said, “I’m going to live a making.” I confess that I’ve spent much of my life learning what that means. And it is living a making for so many years that has led me to the place of true meeting that waits under all our struggles.
I have learned that making a living is how we survive, but living a making is how we thrive. We need the strength and resilience to do both.
There is always a tension between surviving and thriving, and between making a living and living a making. Part of the journey of individuation is withstanding the tension of both until they work hand in hand.