Words to Live by

These words by Omar Khayyam, the twelfth-century Persian mathematician and philosopher, always resonate with me.  Each time I read them or hear their poetry, I am inspired anew.

If you remember the dark thriller Unfaithful with Richard Gere and Diane Lane in 2002, you might recall that this phrase became the ironic cadence of the film's doleful plot. But, today, I wanted to focus on Khayyam's words in a different, less cinematic capacity.

Every few months, I mentally appraise my strengths and weaknesses.  I catalog my personal deficits in an attempt to grow, to mature, to change for the better.  Think of these lists as a kind of New Year's resolution, but exacted on a more habitual basis. 
So in addition to silly things like "making my own marinara instead of buying jarred sauce," I also list weightier personal objectives.  Khayyam's poetry articulates one of the greatest difficulties I experience in my daily life: living in this moment, living for now. 
Americans in general tend to be overly consumed with what has happened in our collective past or in our hopeful future. What we seem to have the most trouble with is NOW. 
I find even when I am surrounded with loved ones or deeply entranced in a wonderful aesthetic experience or in the midst of something truly special, my mind inevitably wanders to "what's next?"  

The ability to sit in a moment and be content escapes me.  Perhaps as my life goes racing along, I may develop this rare ability to absorb the present with serenity. 

How do you live in the moment? How do you slow your mind and be present?

Images borrowed from here, L'ImperoInteriore, ArAritta & ZenMind.


  1. That kind of echoes the sentiment I was trying to project in my "Normal Life" post last week. It is really hard to enjoy the moment, I struggle with it daily.

  2. Just as you say, Pink Frechie, slow down and savor the moment. It's the tiny moments that make our lives. Ask yourself, "Isn't this moment perfect?" If it is, enjoy!


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