Saturday, 30 November 2013

Carpe Diem

Robert Frost, a poet of the 19th century said in prose; The Road Not Taken
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by".

Why does he say this? Why is it important for him to offer an idea of choice in where he was going? Does life exist at all, outside of choices and actions and outcomes? And how can what he said have any bearing at all upon you and I?

It may do well for us to consider what the poet thought, but even more productive I believe, is to look at what we think that he meant. My belief is that the two are one and the same in the end. Life is all about choices. And as far as anyone alive can say factually, that is pretty much it. Death doesn't offer us any clear or obvious choice. What we have is life, what we have are choices and what we do, well that has the power to make us happy or sad. 


What do you think it means to seize the day? Carpe diem is Latin, and best translations consider that it affectively indicates seizing the day. Taking hold of the day with a positive and firm grip. Maybe not to throttle to death, but perhaps to go as far as squeezing all of the life out of the day, for its enrichment and nourishment value. Another poet (Thoreau) suggested that we suck all the marrow out of life, and if anyone knows anything about bones and bone marrow you'll know how hard this is to achieve. (Dogs are much better at it) Sucking the goodness out of life, (the marrow) is a term often forgotten or merely misplaced I would say. In todays world we are often 'too busy' rushing between one thing and another to do this, or even to consider the true value of doing this simple but effective act, that would free us from panic and from distress and any concerns at all over outcomes. Sucking the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone as my mentor, Mr Keeting once told me in his role as English teacher at Welton Academy for boys.

Many of my thoughts about this topic often come back to this powerfully illustrated film, Dead Poets Society. If you've never watched it, I suggest that you do at the first opportunity you can find. In a very subtle yet incredibly intriguing use of language and imagery it creates a forum for reconsidering the basic values for life as we have come to know and understand them. And it reveals how we can admire and come to love the beauty of life itself, in all its wonderful magic. 


What would give you a belief that life had been enjoyed, that you had made the very best of it, that you had made it worthwhile? Sitting in front of a television screen day after day? Watching other peoples troubles and arguments in arenas of constant tribulation? Being immersed in woeful acts of violence and degrading human behaviour? Watching unprofessional sportsmen ruthlessly tackle one another running around a field for a living? I think not. Nay I hope and pray that is not the case, how sad that would be. Wouldn't we be better served by knowing truth? By seeing what real beauty exists in human connections, and by being an active participant in this pursuit don't we get the feelings of serving ourselves with a purpose? And by making the best out of the possibilities coming towards us, do we not manifest all that is great in our observance of life?

Believe it or not, death comes to us all. Death may not be the end of our lives as many people have discovered, merely a doorway into another part life. Life is a constant experience and to honour it I determinedly try to avoid missing the point of what it is for. Experience. Whether we do something or not we are learning immeasurable truths. But with choice, we can be actively selecting the best of the experiences, the ones that give us the feelings of more joy and live in such a way as to show that we have gained some wisdom. Who are we showing this wisdom to? Ourselves more importantly than others. If we go to bed each night happy that we did the best we could, that we squeezed the marrow out of life, that we seized the day, I believe we can rest easily. If on the other hand there are self doubts as to, could we have done more? then maybe we will rest more fitfully. I'm not about to preach to anyone as to what is good or bad, what is right or wrong, all I know are my own definitions. Ones that have come from my own feelings of having made mistakes, and failures to have lived life to the full. We talk about things in hypothetical terminology saying; “I'm going to kick ass today”. Then going to bed seeing that we did not in fact do this at all, but gave in to mediocrity and other pressures of life that seemed to force our hand.

There is a wonderful book by Ekhart Tolle; The Power of NOW...If you've not had the chance to read it then maybe would be a good opportunity to do so. NOW, the moment in which you and I are here, present, thinking and breathing, reading (and in my case writing) is all that there is. The past has gone, technically it no longer IS. As a memory it can live on for as long as we remember it, but it will not come back again. The future doesn't yet exist. Only theoretically does it belong in the space following NOW, and we cannot accurately predict what that might be or look like when it arrives. All we can do, is guess and problematicize what may or may not occur and how that may or will affect us at that time based upon memories of how it affected us in the past. But the NOW, this is an ever present and permanent feature of our experience. And one that sadly we often forget about and ignore as it passes us by swiftly, whilst we plan for a future that may or may not come and hold memories of a life that has already gone. Please take a few minutes to let this fact sink in, only in the here and now, in this very moment can you have any real power at all. What you decide to do now, will lead to the outcomes of the future.

So to conclude. If you have any doubts at all about what you are planning to do, then don't. If you can only spare a few minutes of your time for life, then it's already over, believe me I KNOW. (As one resurrected from that proverbial death)

As the poets says; “make your lives extraordinary”.

"Don't be a sayer, be a doer".

"Don't miss the chance to live by looking at the dead".

I hope this helps everyone to see, the point of life is living it...!

Love, Peace, Light and Harmony.

Peaceful Warrior.

The code is IDD9 and fits perfectly together with 03
In the end its all about choice.

I did this for you. x

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