Monday, September 18, 2006

Be Wise, Strain the Wine

When I was in high school I participated in some foreign language contest every year. It was silly. I just recited the same poem in Latin each year and every year I won the exact same prize. Anyway, the poem was Horace's Ode 1.11 also known as Carpe Diem. I only remember a few lines, but I've rembered them and recited those lines every so often for so many years.

tu ne quaesierus
scire nefas
quem mihi
quem tibi
finem de didederant, Leuconoe
nec Babylonios
temptarus numeros
Ut melius quic quid erit pati
seu pluras, something something...

And it goes on for a while and I can't remember the words but it ends:

carpe diem
quam minimum credulo postero

I couldn't resist. I googled a translation:

Don't ask (it's forbidden to know) what final fate the gods have given to me and you, Leuconoe, and don't consult Babylonian horoscopes. How much better it is to accept whatever shall be,whether Jupiter has given many more winters or whether this is the last one, which now breaks the force of the Tuscan sea against the facing cliffs. Be wise, strain the wine, and trim distant hope within short limits. While we're talking, grudging time will already have fled: seize the day, trusting as little as possible in tomorrow.

Here's why it's stuck with me. It says that we have but one life. That life is fleeting. Make it good. Damn good. But this does not mean don't do the right thing or quit work in favor of beach bumming. Quite the contrary. It means make the most of the present situation. Don't try to force the future into your goals. Carefully tailor goals and the paths to those goals each day as the future unfolds to enlighten the path. It means live life. Make your life happen within this world that we happened to be put upon. Live as to not regret what is undone. We must balance control with lack of control and seizing the day with making wise choices.

I, my friends, am a day seizer. I am happiest in the midst of a seize. I struggle in the waiting room while I'm supposed to be trusting old man Jupiter. While I'm seizing I am busy and can't worry about what the future holds and how to force it to take the shape I want it to take. So I think I have tricked myself into thinking it's all about the active seize. Yes, I know it's far from a news flash around this blog but I need to add in the trusting in the parts of life that I cannot control. Maybe sometimes good seizing is slow?

But I just want to get up and start seizing like crazy! I feel a lot better these last few weeks. I'm coming out of that brief yet icky bout of depression. I feel in charge of my life again and therefore I want to make it all happen now! Woohoo! Let's start seizing those days y'all! Let's take on life and make it interesting and challenging and fun and exhilarating. I want to seize the closeness and fun and newness of moving into the OHOOD with mrp. I want to adjust to mrp and learn about mrp and be silly with mrp. I want to make mrp breakfast and pack him lunches and kiss him goodnight every night. I want to do our dishes and make our bed and listen to the mower on the weekends in the warm months and the blower on the weekends in the cold ones. Jupiter, this is the day I want so badly to seize!

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