Carpe Diem

Henry David Thoreau Quote On A Neutral Background

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As I relished the quiet and solitude afforded to me on this day after Christmas, I came across the film, “The Dead Poet’s Society”.  I have seen this film countless times, but it has been quite awhile since my last viewing of it.  Running across it felt like bumping into an old friend, as the storyline and the dialogue came rushing back to me, along with the familiar feelings of longing and regret that arose when I first saw it so many years ago.

When I initially was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago, I remember part of the panic that surged through my body, mind, baby soul, and spirit was the realization that so many of my lofty dreams and carefully made plans had not been realized yet.  While I definitely have had a good life, like so many others, I am guilty of not living a full life.  I have squandered personal and professional opportunities, taken people for granted, assumed that I have unlimited time on this earth, and settled for mediocrity.  One would think that a health crisis would spur me into action.  And it did for a brief time.  Then, life got in the way, and I feel as if I have lost my way.

As the credits for “The Dead Poet’s Society” scrolled on my television screen, tears streamed down my cheeks.  I wept for my past, present, and future, and I felt inordinately alone.  While people may be there to welcome us into the world and then to give us a proper farewell when we die, during the in between period known as life, it comes down to our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that either lead us to seize the day or allow the day to seize us.  We are the captain in the verse, “O, Captain, my Captain!”.  Currently, I am under siege, and I feel like I am going down with the ship.

How does one seize the day in a world rife with responsibilities, chores, deadlines, and obligations?  How does one transcend the ordinary for the extraordinary?  I don’t have the answers yet, but as I look ahead to the new year, I feel as if I am being called to find them.  I don’t know where or how to look for them, and I am not sure that they even exist.  I do know that I don’t want to continue to go through the motions, because there is so much more to life than that.  There simply has to be.

That’s another story. . .


Categories: That's Another Story

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10 replies

  1. SO nicely articulated, Kristi Jo!

    I had lunch with a dear one today–Kim has been in Stage Four for FIVE years. She’s a spiritual guide for me! She practices voluntary simplicity and gently tells me not to wait for the kind of health disaster she experienced to cut through the crap to what’s really important. That’s my goal and focus for this new year!

    I am not at all comparing Kim’s condition with your illness, by the way…just grateful for the wise guide I have in her. All the best to you on this fascinating, aggravating, illuminating, painful, frustrating journey!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a journey this has been for you. I understand the need to soul search while I may not understand exactly what you are feeling. The questions will reveal themselves to you as you navigate your path. Here’s to living with your whole heart!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, I love your words!
    Keep on, Keeping on!
    Amy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. With all the everyday stuff there is to do, as you so rightly say, “seize the day” can seem impossible – maybe scaling it down to an intention to “be present in this moment… and then this moment…” is more manageable?
    Ideally, we would all live our best lives without first coming face to face with the worst but we are only human and every one of us is an entirely forgiveable work in progress. Please be kind to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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