The Universe and The Time: Carpe Diem, Vita Brevis: Seize the Day, Life is Short

From The Universe and The Time blog: “Carpe Diem, Vita Brevis” in other words, “Seize the Day, Life is Short”~

I stumbled across this blog a while back. Another iteration of a reminder we all need frequently – make the most each day; relish in the ordinary; we know not the hour or the day it will all be over, so make hay while you can.

YES.

And for the blog itself,
— Read on: theuniverseandthetime.blogspot.com/2013/02/carpe-diem-vita-brevis-seize-day-life.html

This Is Community

We received this letter in the mail recently; it’s the second such letter since the pandemic took hold and shelter in place began.

The message this letter conveys is, “We’re in this situation together. There are people and organizations that want to help those in need; there are people Rut want to help you.

Let’s get through this together. We’re better as a community.

GOOD.

All Houses Shake

Let’s start this way, from the Book of Luke, Chapter 6.

“I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like a man building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground
without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

Here’s what I know. I’ve worked to keep my house on rock all my life. Overall. But there have definitely been times, plenty of times, when I’ve struggled; in my worst moments, ideals have gone out the door due to matters that proved to much for me in the moment.

This verse from the Book of Luke is one of my favorites. It calls us to strive for what we know is right, to heed the wise words we hear, to build our house on rock, to fortify against the inevitable dangers, struggles, floods of difficulty that come along in life.

We’re called to trust in the foundation we’ve laid, and do what we know is right and correct in each moment in those most difficult times. In this way, the high river waters of life’s most challenging moments will not sweep you away; your house will stand firm.

All houses shake. But in the flood, yours can, yours will, stand firm. Let it be so.

So Many Messages, One Purpose

There are so many ways, so many takes, but in the end just one purpose, I think: EQUALITY.

After 400 years a society, and almost 250 years a country, let it be so: that all people are equal and should be treated as such.

These names come to mind: Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Harry Edwards, Bill Walsh, Al Davis, Phil Woolpert, Horace Stoneham, Colin Kaepernick, Steve Kerr, Kyle Shanahan, Gabe Kapler, Evander Kane,…and…

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castille, Alton Sterling, Michelle Cusseaux, Freddie Gray, Janisha Fonville, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Gabriella Nevarez, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Tanisha Anderson, to name a few. These names? Those names of African-Americans who have been killed by police officers.

Some of these words on the backs of some NBA players’ jerseys as their teams compete in the playoffs.

“Say Their Names.”

“Love Us.”

Elevate the Voices That Need To Be Heard.

Brown Lives Matter.

“Enough.”

“Stand Up.”

“Black Lives Matter.”

“BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Let your elected officials know what you. Let them know they are accountable for making society worse for all people.

ALL PEOPLE.

Say Their Names: https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2020/know-their-names/index.html

Labor Day

The late 19th Century saw the labor movement gain ground. As the turn of the century approached the movement spurred popular support to such degree that national, and international holidays were established to recognize and celebrate workers around the world.

During this same time more reasonable norms were established for number of working hours, and improvement of working conditions in some parts of the world as well.

This work for fair pay, safe conditions, and reasonable parameters otherwise is not complete. The movement must continue, and spread further now to more of the developing world where populations of workers still do not have basic rights and safe and reasonable conditions.

In the United States we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September. In many other parts of the world they celebrate May 1 as Labor Day. Whichever the day, the cause is the same.

More than a century later, let us still Honor Labor. Not only that, let us demand safety, equity, and respect for workers everywhere.

I don’t mean to bug you, but I do mean to elevate the voices that need to be heard.

Let’s say it again:

HONOR LABOR.

It Seems Simple

These simple words from Francis seem to sum things up pretty well, to me.

During these especially crazy times with so many variables in play, I find myself drawn to these simple ideas: interconnectedness, solidarity, mutual support and empathy, compromise for the common good.

Pandemic, social unrest, political turmoil, economic uncertainty…one by one we’ll handle what comes our way.

Together.

Hello, September

We interrupt the normally scheduled stream of consciousness for a little learning opportunity.

This month begun, September. It used to be the seventh month of a ten-month year on the Roman calendar. The root word actually means “seven”. Back then the year began with March. And then 2,400 years ago, it got bumped forward to 9th, when the Romans decided to begin counting the winter months, too.

Whatever the history, so begins this new month, the sixth month of the COVID period, the pandemic of our lifetime.

And yet even on the midst of this upside down and dangerous time, I look for the silver. Lining, that is.

There’s much to learn this month, some progress to be made, joy to be had. Even as things unravel, and the political season heats up, as our American society struggles and people are dying on the streets, protests sometimes coming unhinged, still, still, STILL, we’ll find our way.

And so seventh or ninth, September: Make it good.

Hmm, that did end up to be a stream of consciousness. Common theme here. Ah well, more GOOD.

The Next Right Thing

Pretty frickin’ powerful lyric for a cartoon “kids” movie.

Learning the lessons young, amen to that.

“The Next Right Thing”

(from “Frozen 2” soundtrack)

I’ve seen dark before

But not like this

This is cold

This is empty

This is numb

The life I knew is over

The lights are out

Hello, darkness

I’m ready to succumb

I follow you around

I always have

But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find

This grief has a gravity

It pulls me down

But a tiny voice whispers in my mind

You are lost, hope is gone

But you must go on

And do the next right thing

Can there be a day beyond this night?

I don’t know anymore what is true

I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone

The only star that guided me was you

How to rise from the floor

When it’s not you I’m rising for?

Just do the next right thing

Take a step, step again

It is all that I can to do

The next right thing

I won’t look too far ahead

It’s too much for me to take

But break it down to this next breath

This next step

This next choice is one that I can make

So I’ll walk through this night

Stumbling blindly toward the light

And do the next right thing

And with the dawn, what comes then?

When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again

Then I’ll make the choice

To hear that voice

And do the next right thing

‘Frozen 2’ Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez

These Words

These words we say, these words we sing, these words we share,

They seek to explain the thoughts we have, the feelings inside, the struggles and pain, the hopes and the love,

These words, they make us different perhaps, from every other animal on the face of the earth. When we are unsure, when we are striving, straining, explaining,

We use words to fill the void, to fill the holes, to explain, clarify, convince.

To what end?

Sometimes good, sometimes not so, time will tell. They might be your own doing, or your salvation, these words.

Lyrics Post: “Winds of Change” – Scorpions

Thirty years ago this song came out. It spoke to the times, spoke of change, spoke of one person’s experience, mirroring the feelings of many. Including me. I was deep in that time of change. I had walked the same paths. Wondering. Longing. Wanting.

Thirty years later, the song still captures that time, that hope, that belief that change is possible.

And then I heard this news: there’s rumor that actually the CIA wrote the song’s lyrics, and fave the song to the band to help move along the end of the Soviet Union. Verdict’s still out on that one!

But whether written by the CIA or rock musicians from Hannover, the message is the same:

Change is possible for the better. Winds of change guide us. Let us follow together.

Winds of Change

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

Writer(s): Klaus Meine