Today I Choose To Live / by Arch Magazine

I have an obsession with life.

As long as I keep that at the forefront, I hope to not lose sight of who I am. I create because I want to contribute something to this world that is hell-bent on destroying itself. But I often feel that what I contribute will never be enough to change anything. There is something about creating that leads me to believe that I can change the world. Why else would I bother? Because it's something that cannot be destroyed. Why do any of us bother? That small impact we hope to make is huge and life changing in our minds, and thus fills us with equal measures of hope and fear.

All my life, writing has been a survival tool. I didn't always create because I loved it. I created with the passion and fury that I did because I had to, out of fear of death. But this is transforming. It's not about survival anymore, not in the way it used to be, though there is always the part of the artist that feels as if their very life depends on the thing they are creating. But more and more, my drive is becoming about life itself, rather than the fear of "death."

What I am writing here is a creation, because if I don't know this about myself, I really don't know anything. This piece is life itself for me, in this moment. Tomorrow or the next day, it may not be the same kind of life for me, so I will have to create again, whether through writing or photography or music. I write this out of hope, trying to break through that fear.

I have an obsession with life.

I look for life in everything. For redemption in everything. For God in everything. It's the lens through which I see everything. If God is not in everything I do and see, I would lose hope. I equate God with beauty, redemption, life; I even see him in death. I see beauty everywhere, even in the most dismal places. Especially in the most dismal places. To lose that ability would be hell for me. When I think of creating something, I think it is the most divine activity a human can do.

Ugliness can't be my final verdict about life. I see the ugly and pull out the beauty, even if that beauty is drenched in pain and sorrow. I have always been hungry for life. So keep creating, whoever you are. Keep being obsessed with life, even if for the moment it is filled with ugliness and despair. Creation is why we live, why we survive, how we immortalize ourselves and immortalize the human race. Keep creating and don’t stop for as long as you live and breathe, even when fear attempts to keep you hostage, to keep you silent.

And every day tell yourself:

Today I choose to live.

Naomi McPeters