Monday, March 06, 2006

Carpe Diem!

This past weekend, Mr. Right and I watched a great movie, one we hadn’t seen since it came out years ago – Dead Poets Society, starring Robin Williams as an inspirational teacher and others (Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard) as the young men making their way through life.

Do you remember it? Do you remember the key phrase that the movie was trying to convey through many misguided, over-controlled youths who so desperately wanted to find themselves?

It wasn’t to be the best student you can be.

It wasn’t to fit in and to excel in conformity.

It wasn’t to be the person holding all the cards at the end of the day.

It was “Carpe diem”. Seize the day. Live today to its fullest.

One of the quotes from the film that further illustrated this point: “I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” It was a quote by Whitman.

I love that idea –sucking the bone of life until there is no more to be released from it. To not be distracted by the things that do not matter, but to feel and cherish life to the nth degree.

In the movie, at the beginning when the young men were first introduced to this idea of sucking the marrow out of life, it mainly was used by the students when its results proved to be exciting and adventurous. The point really driven home by the movie, though, was to stand up for one's beliefs throughout all of life no matter how hard it may prove and to live each day fully despite the obstacles in the way.

At church yesterday, I heard the same thing from the pulpit, except it way put this way: “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24. I felt like God was giving me the old one-two punch. Maybe this was a point he wished me to get so completely that he repeated it to me in different ways so that I can really hear its message.

This day, this very day, today is the day the Lord has made for you and for me. We need to remember that there will never be another day like this day. Never can we earn back these 24 hours which are given to everyone alike. No matter your money, station in life, health or situation, we all get the same amount of time to live. What we choose to do with that time is up to us.

We can’t live in the past, for it is dead and gone – never to be repeated the same way.

We can’t live in the future, for we are not guaranteed one.

We can’t live on our successes, for that takes away from what we still have within us.

We can’t live life through our children, for they have their own choices to make.

We can only live one day at a time, embracing out of every moment, making us glad for the gift of today.

Do I choose to let the weight of life keep me from living today to its fullest? Do the worries of finances prevent me from smiling at the moments of joy today? Will I play with my children despite all the laundry or dishes piled in their places? Do I look at life half-empty or half-full? Do I grab this day by the reins and ride it or do I let it loop me by the heel and drag me on the ground?

It really makes me ask the question: “What shall I do with my time?”

I hope that at the end of each day, I can view it with a smile. I hope to be able to say “I truly lived.”

In the movie, Keating makes this statement: “To quote from Whitman: "O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

What will your verse be?

Mine will be a song - a happy, upbeat song, one that makes you want to dance. Maybe Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves or And We Danced by the Hooters. Now those are songs really want to make you move!

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