In one of my favorite movies, “Dead Poets Society,” there’s a scene where Mr. Keating, a teacher at a private school for boys, masterfully played by the late, great Robin Williams, takes his students into a hallway to look at pictures of students from the previous century. Ghosts of the past, long-since dead. He encourages the boys to look into the faces of yesterday, and listen to what they have to say.
Whispering in gravelly tones, he gives a voice to the dead, and groans, “Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” It’s a creepy scene for some, because people don’t want to think about death, but this blog isn’t about death.
Well, not technically.
It’s more about this quote from Virgil: “Death twitches my ear. ‘Live,’ he says, ‘I am coming.’”
“The reality is you have no idea where your life will take you tomorrow. You are like a mist that appears one moment and then vanishes another (James 4:14).”
A few months ago I watched some home-movies of my grandparents and their siblings and cousins. In these movies, my aunts and uncles, now in their 60s and 70s, were small children. Some of the adults were making jokes or funny faces, while others were trying to avoid the camera, a slight grin on their face. They were happy, full of life and hungry for what tomorrow would bring. Strange thing is, they’re all gone now.
Every single one of them.
When they gathered together on that bright, sunny afternoon, young and full of life, do you think they were talking about death? As those children, now my elders and role models, were running through the yard like maniacs, climbing trees, playing, giggling, I seriously doubt the adults were saying, “We better enjoy this. Someday our whole generation will be swept away into eternity.”
No, they were thinking about life. They were thinking about love and laughter and family. Oh, and food. Yeah, my family are all BIG fans of food.
We have to make peace with the fact that someday our time on this Earth will be over. We must live our lives within that framework, realizing how fleeting life can be. We can’t dwell on death; no, we must dwell on LIFE, friends.
With that in mind, I encourage you to visit your neighbor, call your mama, take your dog to the beach, take your dad out for coffee, make homemade pizza for your grandkids, take your son to the movies, or whatever makes you happy. God has given us an amazing world of laughter and adventure.
I say we climb out of the dark, emotional cave we’ve fashioned for ourselves…
This picture is of my amazing daughter, Jess, and my equally amazing grandson, Joshy. This picture was taken at the beach last summer. We thought he’d be scared of the waves and the wind, but he loved it. He played hard and never wanted to leave.
I understand you may not want to leave this life behind, but the sooner we come to grips with the fact that life is momentary, the sooner we will find peace. Squeeze the most life out of today you possibly can, because you’ll never get it back again.
I always tell my kids, “Enjoy today. Try not to argue. Hug each other and make dumb jokes. Get out into the sun and build up a sweat. LIVE. We don’t know what tomorrow brings.”
That’s not depressing to me, it’s a fact. The reality of death should not make tomorrow look grim; it should make today look beautiful.
Many blessings to you and yours.