“One regret, dear world,
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed
I did not kiss you enough.”
– Hafiz, I Am Determined
I read this Hafiz poem two ways. On the one hand is traditional love between two people and the lovely sentiment of wishing we’d had more time, love and kisses together. Invest in those you love now for its all impossibly brief. Time is relentlessly pulling us away from one another. What will you wish you’d done or said with your loved ones? There’s only today…
Another way to read this poem is through the eyes of a traveler. Wanderlust draws me to faraway places. Will the world return to a state of relative normalcy that allows free travel? Will our lives as built offer future opportunities to explore the world? Will I lose the vigor necessary for the travel I seek before I’ve seen the world and all it offers? Time – again – is relentlessly pulling us away from one another. What will you wish you’d done or seen? Perhaps we don’t have today for travel but use this pandemic as a reminder that you may not get another chance and seize the opportunities that come your way.
If we’re lucky we are sharing this time with our loved ones, if we invest it in them in between Zoom webinars and Microsoft Teams collaborations. Why waste this unique shared experience worrying about places you aren’t seeing in the world? Every day together is a gift, even when we’re all bursting to get outside again. Someday, maybe, we’ll be marveling at these days and how we got through it despite everything. Let us be in some faraway place together, laughing at the wonder of it all, and perhaps steal a kiss. Or maybe two?