“Retrospection!” Or “Why Reflect On Life?”
Last Summer, Bill, a friend of mine from my college days, contacted me through Facebook. He had lived overseas for quite awhile and we had lost touch with each other during that time. After arriving back in the States, he did a search for my name on Facebook and after successfully finding me, he sent me an e-mail. We have exchanged many e-mails since then – most of them for the purpose of trying to catch-up on over thirty years of life.
Last Fall, in one of my e-mails to Bill, I asked if he would write something for my blog. He said he would, and recently he sent me the following poem entitled: Life’s Reflections. I read it and really liked it. While I prepared it for this post, I asked him to give me some personal background information. Bill responded by asking me to only say: “I am an old college friend who has done a lot of retrospection about life and sent it to you.“
Retrospection – What a great word! It usually implies looking back and/or reviewing past events or situations in one’s own life. Considering that and reading his poem, I can see my ever-thoughtful friend, Bill Reed, looking back and reviewing his life in pleasing poetic prose. (Pleasing poetic prose – don’t you just love the alliteration? :-)
Enjoy reflecting with Bill. See if any of your thoughts and feelings are contained within his words.
By: Bill D. Reed
Sometimes in life’s passing days;
What we dream or desire will pass away.
Those things we hold so true and dear;
May be challenged by negative thoughts and fear.
No man is an island you heard it said;
But in truth we are all alone at the end of the day.
For what we possess at life’s end;
Are the accumulated deeds to the creator we send.
What did I do to follow the Golden Rule?
Was I kind and thoughtful or was I deceiving and cruel?
Was it the money and power that I craved?
Or, was it kindness and goodness that swayed how I behaved?
Life is not an easy path to follow;
Without values, principles, and virtue it becomes quite hollow.
We must all reflect on the inner light;
And forgive and remember we all share the same plight.
So it goes each passing generation;
Have we made progress for all since our creation.
Did we give more than we have taken?
Did we hold fast to those values we learned not to be forsaken?
R2’s “reflections” on Life’s Reflections
I especially like the last six lines of Bill’s poem. Here’s some elaboration.
The first two of these lines, “We must all reflect on the inner light; And forgive and remember we all share the same plight,” invites me to look from within and remember that we all share the sidewalk of life.
The next two lines, “So it goes each passing generation; Have we made progress for all since creation,” reminds me to help make our lives better.
The last two lines, “Did we give more than we have taken? – Did we hold fast to those values we learned not to be forsaken?” encourages me to question my legacy.
Of course, these are some of my feelings that I emotionally felt while reading Bill’s poem. Wordsworth defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” What I have expressed in writing about the last six lines of “Life’s Reflections,” is a spontaneous overflow of the powerful feelings I felt as I read them.
And finally, I end with a “thank-you” poem to my friend.
Thank you for you,
And for who you are
However far away;
And for the words you send to me
Thoughtful reflections that say,
What a good friend you must be.