I read a column by Lucy Jones, which she ended with a verse by the American poet Mary Oliver, who died last week:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
My answer would be:
I want to explore.
Like a boy on an uninhabited island, I want to explore and map the unknown. That’s what I want my wild and precious life to be: A neverending curiosity. And isn’t that what not only anthropology but science in general is about? The zest of trying to find out.
Walter Pater captured it in this famous quote, which has been my beacon ever since I found it:
To burn always with this hard gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.