Saturday, September 8, 2007

carpe diem (quam minimum credula postero)

For the first time this year, on the last day of August I managed not to think of Grand Mothers departure to the other world. Time is a healer. But the first day of September did help me to remember we're here for a limited time. It started with a long traffic jam that confronted me with two car-crashes and a tour-bus driving backward to see if, the white-red spotted cat, it hit was still alive. Five days later I felt how a dear friend remembered her beloved one lost seven years ago. The same day, by accident I was informed of the funeral of a former colleague was taking place today. I took a break, could not eat. While forced by the work pressure to remain in the office, I could see how, at the opposite of the building, the police and different organisations gently forced their way into a house where a the end of the evening a forgotten body of a forgotten person was removed. I did not see the details, don't know the story but the amount of dead flies on the window edge after they had used insecticide was enough.
Many more events on these early Semptember days. Relax I will not sum them up anymore.
So today I try to take some distance of all this and am determine to figure out what Horace tells
Leuconoe in Odes (1.11) by saying:
Dum loquimur fugerit invida aetis: carpe diem quam minimum credula postere. (Even as we speak envious time is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future)
If I understood the scholars well (I do not master Latin), it does not mean we should follow a hedonistic philosophy or life style, but that one should live in the present and seize the opportunities of the moment. This also involves discipline. It could be the reason why it is usually translated as seize the day instead of pluck the day (what is considered to be the real translation of carpe diem).

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