Sunday, 6 November 2011

Carpe diem, or something like that anyway.

Today I found myself meandering through unknown territory in Cambridge-land. The combination of appealing autumnal bleakness permeating the air, and the Bon Iver playing in my ears (via headphones I might add- the band's not turned teeny tiny!) propelled me into a pensive mood. It was in this very state that I stumbled across this work of, shall we say, 'penmanship.'

The author's message is surely that of carpe diem, seize the day, live for the moment, and this is an attitude I always tell myself I should adopt. I am happy to say, like many people I am sure, a number of wonderful consequences in my life have sprung from moments of such 'live for the now' intent.

Yet at the same time, I couldn't help but notice how part of this sentence is scribbed out. Ironic. Revised and edited, the message itself has hardly been delivered in the very 'moment' it was conceived has it? Living for the 'now' is perhaps so intangible a concept- are we ever truly in the present, or merely thinking back over/ anticipating it? Sometimes I am aware that part of me enjoys thinking about wonderful things to come, or nostalgically reminiscing on that which has been, more than I sometimes appreciate the very moment. It worries me. At times, however, the attitude of, I quote, 'if not now, when?'  can be a troublesome one (just look at marmite flavoured chocolate...' if not now, NEVER' would have been more apt... but that's for another time...). 'If not now.. perhaps at a later, more feasible, more considered date' is sometimes the best, most realistic or only option (although admittedly not quite as catchy), as placing the needs of now over everything can have long-term damaging effects.  

Seizing the day is a wonderful concept, and I advocate it strongly to bring us out of our comfort zones at times, but of late I have to recognise its romanticisation. Waiting for something, so that it will turn out well eventually, is often necessary, and can be all the better for it.

Amid my joyful wander of bleakness, I also crossed a rail bridge, and it was in THAT moment I was struck by this image. I don't know if I was looking back or looking forward, but either way I rather liked it.


  1. For years this piece of graffiti read "Apocalypse Now". Then someone with a cheerier disposition altered it. I have to say I miss the old version.

  2. In May 2009, cycling eastwards down that bridge, I heard 3 bangs, louder than bangs in a residential district should be. At the traffic lights a car had turned right over.