‘My’ Life Doesn’t Exist

…and neither does ‘yours’

a spider at the center of a web with a dark background dotted with eerie blue blotches of light
Robert Thiemann

My life doesn’t exist. There is no such thing. Your life is also fantastical, a fake — it is a falsity. It’s one way to see, this view resulted from society. Sounds like madness! Of course, I haven’t explained myself. Let me explain…

Life belongs to no one; it cannot belong. I don’t have a life, but neither do you. We participate in it — at least, that’s one point of view. Imagine God as a spider… Wait, some don’t believe that much. So first, imagine a creator, or a family of creators. Our holy makers and undertakers — then imagine them all as spiders.

Now imagine they made a web as big as the universe, if you can. Imagine your life — what you perceive of this fake thing — as one fragile string in the web. Yes, I suppose like the thread of life, it can be snapped — though convenient, that’s not really my point. But imagine the string as “your life” on this web, loosely stitched and attached to another. And not just another, but another and bound over others, like natural spider webs are spun.

You could picture those other pure strings of silk are the “lives” of parents, husbands, and wives; of friends, kids, co-workers — coaches. In your life may be bosses or subordinates. The coordinates will match your specifics, though, here are no gimmicks. I ask to picture that web as Life itself. You are a golden strand on its mighty fabric, one piece shared in its great wealth.

Taking care of “my life” has been hard to attain. Trying to control something that isn’t mine leaves a knot in my brain. As we say “my world” or “my universe”, we know these things aren’t ours. They’re figures of speech, forms of expression — so too should be “my life”. For as the Earth belongs to none and the universe is not owned, I cannot be the master of something so vast and so old.

Taking care of Life and focusing non-stop on only mine is like taking care of a forest and looking just at one tree. I can nurture and protect it to beautiful perfection, while the greater forest burns down into ruin around me. No, the goal should be the forest as a whole, or shouldn’t it be? To spread care and nurturing to all trees, to all beings. So the whole is what makes life, and not a singularity. We see that as one tree can’t make the forest — I can’t make Life for me.

And it doesn’t have to be total care and improvements made at once. Some days I water down the trees, and some days, plant a new one, or watch after animals, or sweep up the floor’s trash. Some days I check for fires, search for poachers; I prune or check on the tree I grew. Some days it’s cool to soak in the shade in the undergrowth, feel all the life around. I helped to cultivate this Great Wood. I am in it; it lives through me.

So life breathes, eats, sees, and dreams — life manifests through me. And through you, and by all things, and all life’s situations and beings. It means we are living; we are alive. “My life” is not even a goal. It cannot be improved, for it was never mine to own. Life is shared, a drama, an experience felt by all its participants. And the best?

Without each of its working parts, the forest cannot thrive. I said, without the people, creatures — experiences together, then we cannot have Life. Because it is not something to be had. It is not mine or yours. Because without us, life endures. Now we get it. So let’s share it.


This story/poem came from the concept of life being best lived when it is experienced with others, especially those we love. I notice how easily I can miss life’s great opportunities and meet great people by putting up the blinds and focusing on myself. True life seems to happen when I’m open, when I spread my thoughts, when I share life with others. It seemed like a good idea to share with you, + a chance to mess with some cool spider metaphors 😉

*Find this story and others like it on my Medium page

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