This week’s blog post was inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1849 letter to his brother Mikhail, which was written while Dostoevsky was awaiting his execution at the Petropavlovsky Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Here is an excerpt from Dostoevsky’s 1849 prison letter as translated by Richard Pevear:
Brother, I’m not depressed and haven’t lost spirit. Life everywhere is life, life is in ourselves and not in the external. There will be people near me, and to be a human being among human beings, and to remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to become depressed, and not to falter – this is what life is, herein lies its task. I have come to recognize this. This idea has entered into my flesh and blood.
This week, as our nation celebrates Thanksgiving, we are thankful for life in the simplest form and its many surprises (good and bad). Life is beautiful, strange, and uncertain. It is a true bonus. As Dostoevsky writers in his letter, a person’s life is within him/her and not within external elements. It can be whatever we choose to make of it, even if it is in only in our imagination due to external limitations. That is pretty magical.
Here is to to living the most authentic life possible!