COME, FILL THE CUP, AND IN THE FIRE OF SPRING
YOUR WINTER-GARMENT OF REPENTANCE FLING:
THE BIRD OF TIME HAS BUT A LITTLE WAY
TO FLUTTER -- AND THE BIRD IS ON THE WING.
Is one of your dreams to LEAVE HOME and set out on the Great Adventure, the quest for enlightenment? If for too long you delay your departure, if you daydream and don't DO, then in the blink of an elephant's eye old age and death will be facing you in the mirror, another lifetime down the drain.
THE MOVING FINGER WRITES; AND, HAVING WRIT
MOVES ON: NOR ALL YOUR PIETY NOR WIT
SHALL LURE IT BACK TO CANCEL HALF A LINE,
NOR ALL YOUR TEARS WASH OUT A WORD OF IT.
Most of Fitzgerald's ~200 quattrains (I don't know about the Persian originals) have a fatalistic ending not shared by Buddhism. Yes, time moves in only one direction. Ideas of going back in time and revising the outcome are truly fiction. But unlike the implication of the poem, the future is not fixed or predestined. YOU AND I CAN CHANGE! This is the most important message of Buddhism. The actions of the past can be remembered, recorded, studied. And by understanding cause and effect by studying the past, we can change our actions, change our course, and change our future for the better.