Life’s Simple Truths – Guest column

Thanks to Rick McCutcheon and countless others—including life coaches, real estate agents, counsellors, therapists, wanna-be poets and I think a few Quakers—for this lovely poem, not my words, but fine words which speak to me as I approach six months of retirement.

As I watched my Territorial Church discern online today how to move forward given certain recent challenges I did feel a pang of guilt, that I was not there physically to assist in such leadership. The truth is however that one year ago I decided that enough was enough; being in active ministry since 1982 I felt that what I had offered through those decades was enough, and that particular enough was indeed, enough! On November 1, 2020 I decided to take an important step into a more flexible and for me, creative world of opportunity and challenge. As Edith Piaf sang, Non Je ne regret rein.

As the words below suggest, there is always an excuse, a good rational excuse to hang on to old ways and patterns and to tell your/my self I will retire after COVID is over, after everything in the parish is straightened out and I have reached certain achievement oriented goals. So the words below “We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done, right away” suddenly made and today continue to make good sense.

When studying organ with my brilliant and very patient teacher, the late Hugh McLean, one day after my own rather imprecise performance of Julius Reubke’s Sonata on the 94th Psalm he patted me on the shoulder and said “Kenneth (he always called me Kenneth) that was a noble attempt.” We I don’t want that inscription on my grave thank you. I would prefer something like “nothing ventured, nothing gained” or “he did things with a smile” or “we can rest now that he’s gone.”

With thanks to Caitriona Loughrey, enjoy the words which follow:

Barely the day started and… it’s already six in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.

… and the month is already over.

… and the year is almost over.

… and already 40, 50 or 60 years of our lives have passed.

… and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.

and we realize it’s too late to go back…

So… Let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time…

Let’s keep looking for activities that we like…

Let’s put some color in our grey…

Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.

And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left. Let’s try to eliminate the afters…

I’m doing it after…

I’ll say after…

I’ll think about it after…

We leave everything for later like ′′ after ′′ is ours.

Because what we don’t understand is that:

Afterwards, the coffee gets cold…

Afterwards, priorities change…

Afterwards, the charm is broken…

Afterwards, health passes…

Afterwards, the kids grow up…

Afterwards parents get old…

Afterwards, promises are forgotten…

Afterwards, the day becomes the night…

Afterwards life ends…

And then it’s often too late….

So… Let’s leave nothing for later…

Because still waiting see you later,

we can lose

the best moments,

the best experiences,

best friends,

the best family…

The day is today… The moment is now…

We are no longer at the age

where we can afford to postpone

what needs to be done, right away.

So let’s see if you have time

to read this message and then share it.

Or maybe you’ll leave it for… ′′ later “…

And you’ll never share it….

– Caitriona Loughrey

3 thoughts on “Life’s Simple Truths – Guest column

Add yours

  1. Guilty as charged. But, I will share it right now and God will,( and me) I will begin to do the ” afters….”

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  2. Ken, as always thanks for this post. Yes, things happen and we never know what is around the door. I had a bad fall a number of weeks ago that caused amongst other things neurological damage to one of my hands. So my piano playing is on hold for the near future. Did you record any of the organ pieces you worked on? I did, in the full knowledge that I’d never be able to play them again once they’d slipped out of my immediate one piece repertoire!

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