I cannot tell you how often I type the word “Live” when I want to sign off my emails with “Love,” as in  Love, Marianna. The I and O are next to each other on the cell phone keyboard, and my chubby thumb is clumsy. Maybe if I lost an extra 10 pounds, I would say what I mean.

Or maybe what I actually mean to say is Live.

As in be alive. Now.

If you find yourself going mad, go to lunch and keep driving till you get to the beach or mountain or field of wildflowers that brings you home to yourself.

If someone you love has gone away,  or never came,  grieve till you get to the bottom of it.

If singing is your thing, do it once every day. More if you’re brave enough to keep feeling alive.

If you have finally figured out & named that little, unique thing you love about someone, tell them.

 Say it.


Don’t be fooled. These are not trivial things. They are among the most kind and generous things we can do if we claim to be alive. And we will never be kind or generous with others until we have learned to listen to our own gentle wisdom guiding us to love ourselves well. And listening is only the start. We have to be brave and act on our own behalf. We have to move our feet.

Everything we do matters. Everything. Even taking naps. Maybe especially taking naps.

If we follow our noses, sniffing out our deeper inclinations and braveries the way a dog follows the scent, act on them while gently leaning in the direction of our kinder impulse, one thing leads to another and we find that living becomes something worth living for.

This is not always easy, but the instructions are simple. Trust yourself.

Trust yourself,  be kind as you are brave,  and live as though this moment is the only moment there is.

Because it is.