Balance

I haven’t seen the movie The Bucket List, but it sounds like a good idea to have one.

I’ve been aware of mortality since I was a kid.  My dad had a serious heart attack when I was nine.  Afterward, I was afraid to be bad because it might upset and kill him.  I don’t remember my parents telling me this.  I just knew that stress had contributed to his heart attack and made the leap on my own.

Since then I’ve had a couple brushes with death myself, and seven of my contemporaries have died — far too young.  So I’m very aware that none of us knows the number of our days.

Sometimes that makes me feel like I’d better hurry up and accomplish something special.  While I subscribe to Emerson’s definition of success, “to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,” sometimes it doesn’t seem like enough.  And then a simple poem like “Slow Dance” by David L. Weatherford comes along to put things back in balance.

The refrain is:

You better slow down./Don’t dance so fast./Time is short./The music won’t last.

The final six lines are:

When you worry and hurry through your day./It’s like an unopened gift thrown away./Life is not a race./Do take it slower./Hear the music/Before the song is over.

The poet wants us to take the time to really connect with others in our life, but I also read it as a challenge not to defer doing until the mythical “someday” the things that are important to me.

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