This is a poem that was introduced to me in High School and has to be one of my favorite poems. It is simple, practical, and deep all at once. Read it with a glass of wine.

Advice to My Son by J. Peter Meinke
(b.1932)

The trick is, to live your days
as if each one may be your last
(for they go fast, and young men lose their lives
in strange and unimaginable ways)
but at the same time, plan long range
(for they go slow; if you survive
the shattered windshield and the bursting shell
you will arrive
at our approximation here below
of heaven or hell).

To be specific, between the peony and the rose
plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes;
beauty is nectar
and nectar, in a desert, saves–
but the stomach craves stronger sustaenance
than the honied vine.
Therefore, marry a pretty girl
after seeing her mother;
Show your soul to one man,
work with another;
and always serve bread with your wine.
But son, always serve wine.

Advertisements

So I just finished reading the Norman Maclean story “A River Runs Through It,” and I gotta say it was pretty awe inspiring. Maclean uses fly fishing to help the reader understand his and her place in the world and how that world is something greater, bigger and impossible to control. This is typified by the lead character’s brother Paul. Paul is an amazing fly fisherman and an out-of-control gambler, and despite the beauty he brings into the world, his life is destroyed by his poor gambling habits which get him killed. The narrator and the narrator’s father try to save Paul but to no avail since, as they say, the people that need the most help are the ones that it is impossible to help. Anyway, it just goes to show us the control we think we have on the world and how it is actually not so. Instead we must embrace that beauty we see, if not for a moment to try and be one with that moment because it is fleeting and will not last forever.