Tell Me, What Is It You Plan to Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life? – Mary Oliver

Source: Tell Me, What Is It You Plan to Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life? – Mary Oliver

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Where Poppies Blow…

Yesterday was Rememberance Day here in Canada.  At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we pause for two minutes of silence to remember all those who have sacrificed themselves in times of war so that we may enjoy our freedom.  From the Boar War at the turn of the 20th Century to the current conflict against ISIS in Syria & Iraq, our Armed forces have fought to uphold the principals of our country & to keep our way of life safe from tyranny & terror.

It is also the 100th anniversary of the writting & publishing of John McCræ’s famous poem In Flanders Fields:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Three incredible stanzas that powerfully capture the terror, honour & bravery of soldiers at war.  The poem is recited by school children every Rememberance Day & is even used as inspiration by sports teams (most notably by the Montreal Canadians). However, I have always felt that the last three lines are the most important – especially in the context of Rememberance Day & remembering the sacrifices made by soldiers of the past & soldiers of the present.  “If ye break faith with us who die//We shall not sleep, though poppies grow//In Flanders fields.”  If we forget the sacrifices, bravery & the horrors of war – as well as what our brave men & women fought for our freedom is hallow.  Though we wear poppies above our hearts every November, we must understand their symbolism & their significance.  We cannot break faith, we cannot take freedom for granted.  Lest we forget…

The Ship Of State

“Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering –every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?”

          from The Republic
Plato

Even in ancient times, it seems, the wise understood that the masses could not appreciate the value of Philosophy.  Yet in these times of Democracy as Manifest Destiny, is it not more important then ever that the Philosophical Voice be heard, heeded & understood?

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Sanity

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”

from: Beyond Good And Evil
Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes I look out into the world, observing all there is to see & experience.  I often wonder, does sanity even truly exist?  Or is it simply an illusion manifesting out of a psychologist’s hopes?

The Journey: First Steps

I am currently about half way through writing a short little book entittled “The Journey” that I hope to publish in order to get this project going.   I want this book to be short, to the point & work as a first step to get Individuals interested in a community whose sole goal & raison-d’être is to help everyone lead an happier & more fulfilled life.  It is the first step to achieving this goal.

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Summer Fading…

The night comes upon us sooner.  The air is a little cooler.  And only memories of a summer past will remain with us until the next summer season.

It has been a great summer.  One to remember.  But as always time has gone by too quickly.  There was so much more I needed to accomplish.  But alas, time stops for no mortal & simply continues its seemingly boundless march forward.  All we can do is hold onto the memories of times past & live the utmost in the present moment.

The present moment.

That most important moment in every Individual’s life.  There is that old saying: “No time like the present”  Of course there is also that old latin phrase: carpe diem – seize the day.  It is what I must do.  It is what we all must do.  It is how we enjoy life to its fullest.

Then there are no regrets for times past & only hopes for times future.  This moment right now is all we have.  Seize it.

Tell me about your experiences living in the moment.  Share with us how seizing your day gave you a sense of happiness & completeness.  Please feel free to use the comment form below.  Until next time…