Tuesday, September 18, 2012

words: choosing joy & plucking the day

i read a piece about carpe diem recently.  the author, a remarkably honest, insightful woman, pointed out that constantly trying to seize the day was stressful.  so stressful that it took the joy out of the day.  she talked it out on paper, explaining the difference between real time - chronos - and what she called "god time" - kairos - but what i'll just call true time.  she decided that she wasn't going to try to carpe diem, but rather she would carpe a few kairos moments a day.  and really, i have to agree.  which is to say, i believe we don't have to soak up every day, all day.

as i talked this over with boyfriend, he told me that his high school latin teacher believe that the translation of carpe as "to seize" was too violent, that the phrase was better translated as "to pluck". while it doesn't have quite the same oomph as a life motto, i think it has a more realistic message when understood that way.  every single moment doesn't have to be enjoyed like we've missed the boat if we aren't reveling in each second of each hour.  it's okay to just live.  because when we're just living, we'll find that moments of marvel happen organically.  we'll pluck them out of the day. and maybe, just maybe, those singular moments of marveling are all that we need to do, all that it takes to cherish this life. maybe basking in those moments of sunshine is the real meaning of carpe diem.

a few years ago, i decided to choose joy. to recognize the beauty in an ordinary moment.  i think these two ideas, choosing joy and plucking the kairos moments, are essentially the same thing.  it's about finding a balance - seeing the beautiful in the brutal truths of life.  so i will keep choosing joy. and i will bask in the kairos moments. and i will love, because love is what makes it all possible.

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