Sunday, September 18, 2011

Carpe diem

Here’s a quote from my Quaker Faith and Practice:

“Are you able to contemplate your death and the death of those closest to you? Accepting the fact of death, we are freed to live more fully.”

And here are some quotes from Martial:

“Quisquam vivere cum sciat, moratur?”

Translation - If someone knows how to live, why would they delay?

“non est, crede mihi, sapientis dicere ‘vivam’:

sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.”

Translation - Trust me: a wise man doesn’t say “Life starts tomorrow”. Living tomorrow is too late. Live today.

I went to a friend’s 60th birthday party the other night and caught up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for ages. It was fascinating to find out what they’re all doing, but even more interesting to see how they’re approaching retirement.

Some are embracing it and exploring their creative side, taking up activities they’ve hitherto not had the time for. Others have felt they’re on the brink of a scary chasm and have panicked and taken on armfuls of voluntary jobs. One person, a senior civil servant, had decided he wanted to see if he was able to earn some money in the big bad world.

It was a big shock to me when I turned 60, but now I’ve adjusted, I am carpe diem-ing as if there’s no tomorrow. I want to cram in everything I can before I’m too old or ill to enjoy the activities I love. There was a fab little trio at the party with a tenor sax playing the kind of music I love – The Nearness of You, How insensitive, Desafinado, you know the kind of thing, if not, then listen to this   – and for the first time since I took up the sax (when I was 60), I thought it would be fun to play in a band. So this may be my next big aim. Watch this space.

What’s on my mind this morning, though, is that I’ll be seeing Lux in 2 days.(D.V.) Last time I saw her she looked like this:

lux in November 10

Now she looks like this:

August 21st 2011

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