One of the many topics that arose during lunch with Nancy today is the importance of living one’s life to the fullest. Yeap, for those of you who know me, that sounds like a familiar refrain. Nothing new, huh? And yet, don’t we all need reminding of the importance of seizing the day every now and then? For me, the reminder came from a poem that I recently read in a book entitled Risking Everything. The poem, “My Dead Friends” by Marie Howe, moved me.
I’m posting it here for you to read and ponder.
My Dead Friends
I have begun
when I’m weary and can’t decide an answer to a bewildering
to ask my dead friends for their opinion
and the answer is often immediate and clear.
Should I take the job? Move to the city? Should I try to conceive
in my middle age?
They stand in unison shaking their heads and smiling–
to joy, they always answer,
to more life and less worry. I look into the vase where Billy’s
it’s green in there, a green vase,
and I ask Billy if I should return the difficult phone call, and
he says, yes.
Billy’s already gone through the frightening door,
whatever he says I’ll do.
What do you think, my friends? Do you want to continue playing it safe? Are you going to keep worrying about what the neighbors might think? Will your relatives disown you? Are you willing to live a safe but boring life, or will you take Billy’s advice and say YES??? You know what I’m doing, right? I’m heading to the circus where’s more life and less worry.