Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maria's thoughts

I believe in the sun
Even when it is not shining
I believe in love
Even when feeling it not
I believe in God
Even when God is silent

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

-Joe Darion, "The Man of la Mancha"

Fill your life with "I'm glad I did"s
Not "I wish I had"s

Those three things, for a few reasons that shouldn't be gone into on a blog, have been on my mind a lot, a lot, a lot lately. And I got a new one tonight to ponder. I had dinner with my aunt Gladys, who is actually my great aunt, but since she's only ten years older than my mom, she seems way too young to be a great aunt. She had the harrowing experience of losing her husband to a sudden stroke about six months ago. Since she and I both live in Salt Lake now, we decided to get together.

She is one of the most energetic, cultured, intelligent women I have ever met. As soon as I got there, she was telling me stories nonstop about all kinds of things, some of them funny, some of them sobering, many of them touching and edifying. My soul has been feeling rather damaged lately, and I felt as though her animated conversation and warm spirit were a salve that was taking away some of my pain.

On top of all the stories she told me that are helping me gain some perspective for my own situation, she shared a thought with me that I might end up hanging on my wall. Our family is notoriously long-lived, and one of her father's cousin's is currently 108 and still alive (her father, my great-grandfather, lived to be 98 and would still climb apple trees when he was in his 90's). This cousin was still an active businessman at age 100, and once when he was having a conversation with Gladys, he told her that aging is all in the head. It's a mental state. "The minute you stop living for your dreams and start filling your life with regrets, is the minute you start to age," he told her calmly. "Not before."

I would hate to be old and be in my 20's, so no regrets! cast them aside! No looking back! Only forward looking allowed on these premises.

Here's to the wisdom of aunts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those three quotes/thoughts are some of the main ideas that sustain me in life. "The Impossible Dream" is taped to the door of my bedroom, as a matter of fact. I think they are noble and wise thoughts.