I was talking to my girlfriend, Whitney, recently about writing and a particular period of my life, and I said to her, “I knew right in the middle of that time it would make a great story.”
That’s what living your life well means to me. When you’re right in the middle of it and you know that it’s going to be one fantastic story later. You can feel it. It’s a buzz on the air. An electricity. You have a feeling, a knowing, that you’re absolutely where you’re supposed to be.
Writer Michael McDonagh sent me Norman McClean’s classic novella A River Runs Through It recently and I just finished reading it for the first time. I’d seen the movie many times, which is fantastic, but there’s never anything that compares to the original book. It is classic literature of the highest caliber. Nostalgic, hilarious, musical, and spiritually written like a poem.
McClean didn’t write this story about his younger years in Montana until he was retired and in his seventies. In the book, he writes about recognizing in the moment all those years before, what a great story his memories will make.
Live your life until you know it’s literature or a movie. Live it until you can hear the musical soundtrack rising up around you. Live it until you feel that it’s the story you want to tell.
If that makes sense to you, you’re probably living well right now.
This photo of a younger me fishing was taken by Nancy Bronson.