Carpe Diem

Eat, drink and be fucking merry! May that be tattooed on my forehead. I feel cynical and self effacing; dark, as if I’ve been set on fire. I found out today another one of my friends is struggling with cancer. I feel paranoid, frail, grateful and suddenly numb. It could be me. I could be the one diagnosed with some terminal illness tomorrow. I could get hit by a car, be dismembered or worse paralyzed. Our lives are so incredibly temporary. We are butterflies; dust in the wind, fleeting revenants. Everything we are,  all our thoughts, feelings, memories, made of nothingness. We build and build only to own nothing but a dank hole 6′ under.

This state of mind is dangerous and crass. It brings my worst qualities to the foreground undermining all that I’ve built and struggled for. I love my life and yet there is the part of me that craves more, that wants to squeeze every drop, every ounce of pleasurable experience. After all for every drop there is a bucket of misery it seems. How many poems have been built around the subject:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
–Robert Herrick To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

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Scale back your long hopes to a short period. While we speak, time is envious and is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.   –Horace

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Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
–Andrew Marvell To His Coy Mistress

I find myself yearning for all the things I do not allow myself to taste. I lust for life, for experiences. I lust…I lust….and in my petty, greedy cesspool of subjective inadequacy I glimpse, if only briefly, a sliver of truth–a sliver that becomes a life raft upon a stormy sea. I am clinging to this truth for dear life. I am, whether I care to admit it or not, at a crossroads in my life and doing the “right” thing is not so black and white. The right thing: By whose standards and by what moral compass? What is right and what is right for me?