Muse for Monday

MantraThe regularly scheduled post for tonight has been preempted so Mantra can bring you what she thinks compliments Clyde’s Friday idea. If you are not clear on what that means, stop by the SEP and skip down to Clyde. When you get to the end, we will be right here waiting for you.

See how quick that was? The SEP closed with a pretty powerful challenge. Mantra may have had a hand in derailing Clyde’s Wednesday idea to move this particular poem up in the schedule from late July.

The crux of the challenge is to squeeze as much life out of our time as we can. Find accomplishment in finishing things…even chores. Find enjoyment in the everyday things…like the music we hear around us. Find friendship…you never know how well you are going to like someone until you ask them about themselves.

In order to enjoy now, you have to do two things.

1. Stop living in the past. 

This is a lot like trying to race a funny car using only the rearview mirror. The short form: You are going to crash.

No, do not forget your past…it made you who you are today. But do not spend your life measuring what you have/are now against a yardstick which is 15 (seconds, minutes, weeks, years) beyond its expiration date. Just as important: Do not spend all your time blaming your lack of now on someone or something in your past. Wait. Stop.

Whose past? Yes, your past. Not the someone or something’s past. Your past. To quote Pumbaa:

Put your behind in the past.”

2. Stop living for the future.

If you have been promised a future 15 (seconds, minutes, weeks, years), you have been conned. Let’s look at a few now wasters:

  • Working all of your waking hours.
  • Scheduling all your waking hours.
  • Failing social engagements (this means dinner with your children) for the above.
  • Pursuing advancement to the exclusion of all else.
  • Hoarding wealth (successfully or not) for an overindulged retirement.

(The last statement does not mean stop saving for emergencies or retirement. It means do it in moderation.)

When you are frittering away now in favor of living (better, wealthier, _________er) in the future, you are missing something.


The Present

All it takes is a little imagination
To see there is more than meets the eye.
Rip off the melancholy wrapper and see
Green KaleidoscopeThe kaleidoscopically coated present.

Yes. Present.

The time you have is a gift.
It is short and finite and now.
Right now is the only now ever.
The present only lasts for but a moment.

Your present.

It is unique because no one else has one,
Not like the one which will become
The memory of the future, your past.
Is this what you want to look back on?

This present.

Mold it. Shape it. Sculpt it. Refine it.
You are making history. Build it.
Today is the foundation. Level it.
All it takes is a little imagination.

Our present.

Is your cornerstone parallel to the square
Or is it perpendicular to the inane?
Move this way, a bit closer to the center.
Have you thought of a name for the monument?

The present.

Be it castle, tower, barn or palace,
Tree house, tent, motor home, submarine.
Build it strong and individual, real,
So the memories bring you enjoyment.

A present.


Is your present memorable? Are you living in the now or the past or the future? Name something off your bucket list. Can you spend now eradicating one of the excuses why you are not doing it?

© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Today is the Tomorrow
    You Worried About Yesterday…

    Another wonderful posting Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  2. There are a few items on my bucket list, but I’m not so concerned with them…it’s all about the “here and now” and not living in the past, except for recalling wonderful memories. I’m happy with my life now, my family and friends and I try to not take anything or anyone for granted…tomorrow is no guarantee. We can plan for the future, but need to be careful so we don’t get clouded and forget about the present. Another great reminder to make the most of each day! Thanks, Red! xx
    LScott recently posted..HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USA! (Double Haiku)My Profile

    • I am really glad to hear you say this. I was quite surprised by the reception this post got. Sometimes, when I talk about such things, the introspection draws a lot of worried looks and pregnant silence. You have a great handle on this one, Lauren. xxx

  3. This is definately an issue for most. I try to live in the present, but I’m not that good at it sometimes. There’s not much worse than realizing you lost something you can’t get back because you weren’t paying attention.
    Angela Young recently posted..The Writers Journey: A Book BeginsMy Profile

    • Very poignant statement, Angie. So many people completely miss the now and the future because they are looking in the opposite direction.

  4. Spectaular timing for this post, Red. I’ve always been one to shut the door on the past, sometimes rather quickly, and looked forward to the future. Sometimes, short-term, it’s necessary to put your ducks in a row and this might be a busy time (like I’ve been in the past six months).

    Yes, I’m retired but I like a challenge—always in the present, which has nothing to do with feathering my nest or money.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Swoon No MoreMy Profile

    • Retired does not mean dead or out to pasture to get fat and lazy! If it were, I would have been dead years ago…

  5. So here I am. Finally trying to post. Did it work??

  6. Gail Thornton

     /  July 3, 2017

    This is exactly what I have been working on. I have a progressive syndrome and I’m often afraid of the future. I have no clue what my future is, like everyone else, and I need to live in the present to have any chance of happiness. It works. Thank you, Mantra. Xxx

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