"In the span of one lifetime it is, of course, possible for every human being to improve himself—within limits set by energy, time, temperament, and the level from which he begins…. But the limits within which such improvements may be made are small in comparison with the vast aspects of our nature and our circumstances which remain the same, and which will be very difficult to improve even were it desirable to do so. I am saying, therefore, that while there is a place for bettering oneself and others, solving problems and coping with situations is by no means the only or even the chief business of life….
No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them. The musician whose chief concern is to make every performance better than the last may so fail to participate and delight in his own music that he will impress his audience only with the anxious rigor of his technique."
—Alan Watts, from "This Is IT" in the essay collection This Is IT and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience
The above quote struck me on so many levels when I read it today: as a human being, a husband, an artist, a musician, a designer, an [insert label] of who I may be in 2013.
The above image #3062391516 by Insousiance is shared via an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License via < href="http://www.flickr.com/">Flickr.com. It's also of one of my favorite bands, Sigur Ros.