By the time I was twenty-one, I’d heard all the cliches about life being a canvas – you paint on it as you will. By twenty- two, I had come to realize that there were many ways to paint on that canvas…I belonged to the paint and scraped it off school of artists formerly associated with New York City. At Thirty-one, I had started to realize that the canvas was a layering of experiences. It was about the whole, with vignettes featured more or less prominently – This would never hang in a prestigious downtown gallery.

I had scraped lots of the New York City layer off and was busily layering on visions of New England, but, it wasn’t just about places; it was about people and experiences.

Now, everybody curates the public presentation of their life. Of course, we love to present ourselves in our best profile – put the carpet over those not too altruistic moments in life, please! But your canvas contains all those moments when you stole candy from the baby and beautiful moments of self-sacrifice. Hide it from the public, but understand that there may be insufficient kitty litter to cover over so many severe breaches of good faith or sheer venality ( I love that word!).

It may be wise move to think about what gets committed to the canvas. When it’s over, said and done you’re the one who’ll have to stand back and look at the composition you created. And at that point you’ll have to decide if you merely daubed paint on or created a masterwork.

Being that it’s one of my favorite sayings, I could conclude with – Go ye forth and sin no more. But I use it too much. Let’s just remember that:

“We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.” ( William Osler)

Add something today.

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