It’s All Improvisation

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been reading An Improvised Life: A Memoir by the actor Alan Arkin. Tonight I read the book’s final passage and loved it so much I had to share it here:

In the final analysis, it’s all improvisation. We’re all tap dancing on a rubber raft. We like to think otherwise, so we plan our lives, we plot, we figure, we find careers that will guarantee us an early retirement, we look for relationships that are permanent, we fill out forms, we do scientific experiments, we write rules — all in an attempt to solidify, concretize, and control this universe of ours that refuses to be pigeon-holed….

We are at our best, I think , when we start to let it all go…It’s all the nagging, the complaining, the plotting, the fears, the endless need to keep the universe in all its majestic chaos at bay — that with a little more thought and effort we can figure it all out, control it all, the universe, our destiny. This is what kills us, robs us of our spontaneity, our ability to improvise, which, as Webster’s says, is to create something on the spur of the moment with whatever material is at hand.

That’s what we’re all doing, all the time, whether we know it or not. Whether we like it or not. Creating something at the spur of the moment with the materials at hand. We might just as well let the rest of it go, join the party, and dance our hearts out.”

This is exactly my view of life.

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