“Time isn’t fleeting,” said my friend Dick, who turned 85 in September. “It’s not. It’s compacted.”
“I don’t think of my life in the context of “expectancy” any more. I honestly think of it in a measure of days.”
I asked him what he meant.
“Have you ever heard that poem by an Indian Poet named Kalidasa. Wrote in Sanskrit.” Dick got up from his chair, and ambled over his desk.
Putting on his glasses, he said, “Here. This is how I look at my life these days.” Sitting back down at his desk, he leaned back in his chair and said, “Could you read that aloud? I haven’t heard it recited in a long time.” He sat back in his chair, took of his glasses, crossed his hands over his chest and closed his eyes.
I read the following, out loud:
“Look to this day: For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of achievement,
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn.”
Dick kept his eyes closed for a few seconds. Upon opening, he looked up at the ceiling then looked at me.
“Yep,” he said, “That’s how I look at my life. To this day. Just this day.”
“When we look at time in that fashion, we all have time. There’s a lot left.”
And as he rose from his chair, he smiled and said, “Time to offer a “salutation to the ever new dawn.”
“Want some coffee?”