(Speaking of risks and oops. Something technical happened tonight and my blog post would not send, so trying again.)
I have a few powerful mantras that have been with me most of my adult life. When I first began this blog almost three years ago this was my first post and is often a signature statement. And when I look back to the young 20 year old girl, who dashed to the book store every two weeks in Place Ville Marie, to buy books over clothes I don’t really see much difference 55 years later. Furthurmore, my interest is still captivated by the sages, the world’s wisdom, poetry, truth, beauty and the serious matter of life and death. And especially how wondrous and tenuous our ordinary everyday lives are and how easy it is to take them for granted.
Perhaps because of Covid-19 and all that has transpired this past year, my attention is turning to the call of the bird: Sing While There is Voice Left. And considering what that might mean now.
Here is my old post:
Sing While There is Voice Left
I read a book, as a young 20 year old living in Montreal, called Sing While There is Voice Left. A French theologian wrote this book and I remember nothing about it, except the title. It has stuck with me my entire life.
I hear sing as a synonym for those things I consider important to do. Like writing this blog, as an example, or facilitating workshops for people living with illness; taking photos; spending time with my Grandchildren; saying thanks; walking, talking and cycling with my family and friends or having a nap in a hammock (when was the last time??) Even more important, remembering when I say good bye to anyone that these may be my last words.
Sing while there’s voice left reminded me to take that cycling trip with my kids and ride in a hot air balloon with my Mother; move to Ottawa to help care for my youngest grandchildren, and seven years later, create this website and write this blog, while I have the chance.
This maxim is embedded in my operating system. And it reminds me of what is important,even when the world is turned upside down. In those times, with effort, I turn my attention to also include small joys where light filters in. I notice small ways, where I can contribute. And I take small steps towards changing what can be changed and accepting what can’t be changed.
We all have things, unique to each of us, that we want to do, learn, attempt and consider important. In fact, I think we all have things that only we (as in each of us) can do. This very moment is the time to begin. Conditions will never be perfect so we may as well take advantage of imperfect conditions to get started, while we can. What do we have to lose? One foot in front of the other.
What would you most regret not having done, if life was shorter than expected? What word gifts did you not give away, while you had the chance? I suggest we don’t save all our best songs and words for funerals. Why not spend them with abandon so that in the end nothing is left unsaid. Of course, that may require a few risks.
I wonder what “Sing While There is Voice Left” might mean to you? It would be fun to know, and when we say it out loud to another we significantly up our chances of taking action. Good luck.
Note 1:) Some of you already know that for me, “sing” means doing a walking trip in Japan. And spring 2022 it might happen. Closer to home one more cycling trip in Quebec, which will require some heavy lifting on my part to regain strength and stamina but it is a “song” worth working for.
Note 2:) I know my banner photo is not exactly seasonal but I love this bird singing its heart out in the foothills of the Rockies.
Note 3:) I hope many of you are getting your first vaccine and that we continue to do the smart things required of us as we make our way down this road.
Note 4:) If you need some inspiration, here is a beautiful video with Brother David Steindl-Rast called A Grateful Day. About six minutes and because of the photography best watched on your computer or tablet instead of a phone.
Note 5:) Finally I say good-bye. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I consider it an honour. Warmest wishes, Trudy