… put no trust in the morrow

News about someone dying, a family member, a friend, or even some random acquaintance , can be very humbling — it makes you reflect on your own mortality. Most times, it also compels you to look back at the life you shared with the deceased… and, more often than not, gives you that eerie I-should-have-spent-more-time-with-him/her kind of feeling.

For me, a death in my small social circle reminds me of a personal tenet: Carpe diem.

Seize the day. Yes. But what does ‘carpe diem’ really mean? Simply, it exhorts one to enjoy the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future — literally to ‘pluck the day’.

During the 1st century BC, the Roman poet Horace wrote, “Seize the day; put no trust in the morrow.”

When we follow our dreams, we enable our selves to live with passion every day. We are at our happiest and most fulfilled when we are truly present in day to day undertakings, no matter how tedious the tasks may be. When we show heartfelt gratitude for the things we have in our lives, we see the subtleties life presents us and transcend beyond the mundane societal pressure forced upon us all.

The notion of living for the moment crops up over centuries of poetry, including in the writings of Shakespeare, Milton and Byron.

Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal. -- Elbert Hubbard

Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal. — Elbert Hubbard

Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” written in the 1600s, has been called the ‘carpe diem’ poem.

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

— To His Coy Mistress, Andrew Marvell

We read here that the narrator urges his love to submit to his embraces before “worms shall try / That long-preserved virginity.”

Every day, indeed, has a purpose.

Live with a dream. Live with adventure in our heart. Live knowing that our enemies cannot stab us in the back if we have our arms stretched out wide in an embrace. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Dance, sing, explore, learn, love… hard and well.


About Seeing with Brahmin eyes
My sense of humor can be keen, sarcastic, silly or corny -- sometimes all at once. I enjoy meeting new people with no preconceived ideas about what or what is not possible. You get much more out of life by being open minded and willing. I'm an easy going, good-natured person who loves life and loves people. I'm both optimistic and realistic and pretty objective when it comes to assessing situations, events, etc. In general I am a very positive person and you'll usually find we with a smile on my face.

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