Today’s prompt is Legend. I pondered this on my run this morning, realizing that there are a variety of meanings, the first group being stories about a person or event, or reputation. The second group of meanings, listed below (from Merriam Webster’s online dictionary) is what I find more interesting today.
2. a : an inscription or title on an object (such as a coin)
The quarter bore the legend “In God We Trust”.
b : caption 2b
The legend identifies the various parts of the illustrated anatomy.
c : an explanatory list of the symbols on a map or chart
I’ve been reading and thinking about end of life matters a fair amount recently. My father is 87, in good health for his age, and he’s had some challenges. I’m one of his advocates, so keeping up on these issues with him is important. One of our older cats Jules, died a few weeks ago, and BA and I had to make decisions on his behalf. And of course, BA and I are both well out of the spring chicken category so considering our own mortality is also pertinent (actually its pertinent for everyone, but more likely to be needed soon with age). In addition, I have both friends and clients with significant health issues, also increasing my awareness of mortality.
Given that life is a time-limited experience, it becomes ever clearer to me that determining what matters most to us is key in living well. Relationships, experiences, careers, all manner of components play into this mix, and it is often different for each of us at different times in our lives. This is certainly true for me. In my early twenties, my central priority was going to medical school and becoming a physician. I have no regrets about doing this, and yet, if I was offered the opportunity to do it again at this point in my life, the answer would be a resounding NO! Once is fine, but not again. This is of course only one of a great many possible examples.
Back to legend. If one’s life were to be illustrated as a map, a journey with all manner of twists and turns between birth and death, what are the significant places on your map? If you were choosing symbols to illustrate what matters to you, what would you choose? And what would you leave out? Are there as yet unexplored territories you want to know more about? What’s your legend? I started exploring legend in the context of a map of one’s life, and I’m now recognizing that its also about one’s personal legend, or story of one’s life, hopefully more based on experience than theory.
via Daily Prompt: Legend