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The Frenzy of Life

It is already a wonder that the word “leisure” still exists in our vocabulary. Its manifestation has become scarce, its original nature obscured. Leisure today is rushed toward, through, past and entirely missed. We are in a sea of drowning souls panicking, frantically grabbing for safety, pulling any and all rescuers down with them to death and hell. Only there will the hustle and bustle of this world cease even as the land of Israel finally enjoyed its sabbaths once the population was removed into foreign captivity.

 

Go a little faster, busy man.

There isn’t enough time, not nearly,

To do all you would like to do.

There are only 70 years in a life,

24 hours in a day;

A third of those waste away;

Sixty minutes in an hour,

Not enough seconds in a minute

To accomplish, achieve, attain.

Find a faster way, a better way,

A short cut to get what you’re after.

Give less to get more;

Get more by giving less.

Time is money and money is time.

 

Hear the rhythm of the stamping feet,

Tempo speeding, sound increasing,

Over the mind to reign.

 

Grab here, run there.

Does haste make waste

Or does waste make haste?

Horde your riches, busy man,

Or do you know where they are?

Pride is a merciless lord;

The Joneses must not get ahead.

Bigger and better is the code

And the mode and what a load!

Grab an upper to keep you going;

Take a downer to slow you up.

What?! A downer to slow you up?

Dare I say it? Wait a minute!

A downer to slow you up?

What will you learn, busy man,

The contradiction of your ways?

You rush to a failure of heart

And mind and soul.

You rush to a grave barely made ready,

Sometimes only three feet deep.

You leave behind the very things

You speed ahead to get.

But listen, my harried friend,

If you can find the time,

What if by the time you are seventy,

You accumulate all that you planned?

Whose will these things then be?

Where will you go and what will you be?

How much will you have of what one can take

To a world with no use for the coin,

Assuming you’ll ever be satisfied?

 

For those who seek to fill themselves

Of anything in this whole world

Find they can never say, “Enough!”

But rush on if you want to die;

Rush on if you wish to die empty;

Receive the fruits of a fool,

A man without understanding,

One who picks his own pocket,

Slits his own throat,

Laces his food.

Grab for peace with your left hand;

Push it away with your right.

Run for fulfillment ’til you have no wind,

Knowing it is behind you.

 

Hear the rhythm of the stamping feet,

Tempo speeding, sound increasing,

Like people at a dance

With the throb of music,

A hypnotic, drunken dance

Increasing its reign in their minds.

 

Cursed people, you busy ones,

Busying yourselves to death;

Stop if you can and consider

The vanity of your ways.

 

Lethbridge, Oct. 1984

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