Carpe Diem

Reading Mark’s post yesterday about the passing of his friend Liz moved me. I could feel his pain in the writing - the loss of a loved one, “one of us”. The quote from Sylvester Stallone as Rocky was apropos, too.

Life can be hard. Pain is a reality - with a chronic illness like Parkinson’s, that can be even more pronounced and constant. And, when it comes to the final chapter, that’s one we’ll all read. I remember my dad telling me at the end of our first Boys of Summer journey, “we’re all dying - it’s the price you pay for living”.

Therefore, doing the most we can with the time we have is the best any of us can do.

“Carpe Diem” is one of those phrases that grabs my heart. In case you’re not familiar, it means “seize the day”. It’s not just because of my affinity for the principal of the phrase, but because of when and where I first heard it: It was while watching “Dead Poets Society” with my father as a teenager. My dad loves Robin Williams - the silly stuff to be sure, but his incredible ability to penetrate the heart, too, with his dramatic roles is something that moves my dad. Poetry does that as well. With short, concise phrasing, poetry has the ability to devastate and enlighten in ways the word assault culture of today cannot. Williams had the amazing skill to split us open with humor, then drive home truth with poetry.

“I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately…” - Henry David Thoreau.

Just one of the famous poets quoted in that movie, and a line my dad and I have talked about at length. What does it mean to live deliberately? What does it mean to go into the woods - figuratively or literally? It’s easy to get caught up in a checklist life, but moments like the loss of a dear friend can serve as a splash of cold water, reminding us to wake up and live for the day.

— written by Robert Cochrane

Parkinson's Place