August 8th, 2012

Tolkien, artist

Poetry and Whirlwinds

Maxine Kumin wrote a lovely poem called In the Moment from her book of poems Where I Live, and when I read it this morning on my daily poetry reading, I was struck by the following lines that I share with you.

...Dogs live in the moment, pursuing

that brilliant dragonfly called pleasure.
Only we, sunstruck in this azure

day, must drag along the backpacks
of our past, must peer into the bottom muck

of what's to come, scanning the plot
for words that say another year, or not.


These words speak to me so clearly. When I add them to a cartoon that I've had posted in my office for several years that features a running dog and the legend: "All animals except man know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it. - Samuel Butler" it screams out at me. But we don't live our lives in isolation, and we don't live our lives in the moment. We interact with others, sharing our hopes, dreams, lives and homes. We plan for the future, we reminisce about our past, and we very rarely truly live in the now. It's very hard to do.

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