Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

2 views
Poetry > The Dash by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6310 comments I'm not much on poetry, but I saved this years ago & just stumbled across it on my hard drive. I still like it, even if my dash probably resembles a drunken wildebeest herding cats.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?


message 2: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6066 comments Thank you Jim for posting this timely poem. If only everyone who reads it will stop and think and unfortunately the ones who don't rad it are mostly the ones who should. By the way I just recently wrote my OBIT.


message 3: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Thanks for posting that poem, Jim. I like the idea of the dash standing for the life of each one of us. Makes you think twice.

You mentioned what your own dash looks like. That's how it may look to you but it may look much better than you think from other people's perspective. I think you do very well at herding. :)

As for myself, my dash consists of many dashes, each one a different aspect of my life over the years. I suspect we all have many different dashes, some better than others.


message 4: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "Thank you Jim for posting this timely poem. If only everyone who reads it will stop and think and unfortunately the ones who don't rad it are mostly the ones who should. By the way I just recently wrote my OBIT."

Nina, I've thought about writing an obit for myself but it's a hard thing to do. I think it takes a lot of courage to write one's own obit. It's like coming to terms with our own mortality. I haven't been able to do that. I guess I think I'm going to live forever. Who can imagine their own death?

I remember touring a museum in Bennington, Vermont, which featured Grandma Moses' art work. There was a quote by her which said that she wasn't afraid of death because she thought of it as being just like going to sleep. I wish I had copied the quote.


message 5: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6066 comments Joy, when you get to be my age perhaps it won't seem so difficult.


message 6: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6066 comments I figure I have already dashed and now it's time to take a break.


message 7: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "Joy, when you get to be my age perhaps it won't seem so difficult."

Nina, my older sister will turn 90 in November of this year. I can't even imagine her gone. I am like an ostrich with its head in the sand ( a perfect simile even if it IS a cliche)!


message 8: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "I figure I have already dashed and now it's time to take a break."

Yes, Nina, take a break, a LONG one. You may live to see 100!


message 9: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6066 comments Joy if being an ostrich seems right to you, so be it. Nothing wrong with that.


message 10: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 04, 2017 05:45PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "Joy if being an ostrich seems right to you, so be it. Nothing wrong with that."

Thanks, Nina. I try to keep the following quotes in mind:

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
---William James

"Overthinking is the biggest cause of unhappiness. Keep yourself occupied. Keep your mind off things that don’t help you. Try to think positive."
---Author unknown

"What it boiled down to is the strength to be able to say, 'I don't want to think about it.' Thinking negatively is the result of guilt and insecurity... You are the person who makes yourself happy. You're the person who makes yourself sad. It's much easier to feel better when you keep remembering that."
---p. 481, Caesar's Hours: My Life In Comedy, With Love and Laughter by Sid Caesar


back to top

7646

Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Caesar's Hours: My Life In Comedy, With Love and Laughter (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Sid Caesar (other topics)