Ah, fill the Cup:--what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!
RUBA'IYA'T OF Omar Khayya'm
Edward FitzGerald's translation, First edition 1859.
Yesterday while I was driving to work I
listened to a discussion on Public Radio about how people
with a terminal illness say that after the diagnosis they "just
began to live". They said that they neither lived in the past
nor in the future but that "everything was in the present."
I realized I had strayed from the path.
I spend too much time reflecting on times past, remembering
events long since gone. I was thinking of friends departed for
a decade or more, or looking into the future, anticipating future
trips and buying equipment I will probably never use, preparing
for a time that will never come. I was trapped in the past and
the future, ignoring the present.
When, thirty years ago, I spent two
tours living day to day I find that my memories are so sharp
that they are in some cases more vivid than yesterdays
My resolution for the future is to live
for each day. Never to ignore my river for the seduction of
a "better distant stream." Sure I've scheduled trips that require
preparation, but those visits can't disrupt our lives. I've decided
that each day should stand alone, minimally influenced by the
past and future. I have in my truck my favorite 3 rods, flies,
reels, waders, and leaders. I have my priorities in order. Today
is king. Never again will I compromise today for yesterday or
tomorrow. I have decided to live each day as if were my last.
Never living in the past or future but trying to wear out the
toys I have.
When I was young everything was
"anticipation". When I was old everything was "reflection."
Now - I am living for the day. Those damn trout better be
frightened. I'll be there today.
Alike for those who for TO-DAY prepare,
And those that after a TO-MORROW stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There.
1st edition 1872, Ruba'iya't of Omar Khayya'm, Edward FitzGerald.
I guess I'll live in the now.~ "Old Rupe"
If you are unfamiliar with old Omar - shame
on you. A great 10th century philosopher, astronomer, and poet.
Always remember his third quatrain:
And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The tavern shouted - open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.
Publisher Note: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam can be found