Live in the Mess — Joan Didion

Joan Didion was a writer, activist, and political watchdog. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Didion died December 23, 2021.

A friend recently shared this Didion passage below, some guidance to “live in the mess,” which continues to inspire me.

What I want to tell you today
is not to move into that world where you’re alone with yourself
and your mantra and your fitness program,
or whatever it is that you might use
to try to control the world by closing it out.

I want to tell you
just to live in the mess.

Throw yourself out into the convulsions of the world.

I’m not telling you
to make the world better,
because I don’t believe progress is necessarily part of the package.

I’m telling you to live in it.
Try and get it.
Take chances,
make your own work,
take pride in it.
Seize the moment.

Joan Didion (1934 – 2021)

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