"All you have is today."

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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kfwilson6
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"All you have is today."

Post by kfwilson6 » 09 May 2018, 20:43

"Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is not guaranteed, " Duke told Gary.

Do you think Duke was true to living by this sentiment?
Do you live by this or are you too stuck in the past or too worried about the future?

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K Geisinger
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Post by K Geisinger » 10 May 2018, 12:38

kfwilson6 wrote:
09 May 2018, 20:43
"Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is not guaranteed, " Duke told Gary.

Do you think Duke was true to living by this sentiment?
Do you live by this or are you too stuck in the past or too worried about the future?
I think Duke wanted to believe he lived in the present, but everything about him still screamed of his past. The man was dying of cancer, but he still performed because he once was part of a circus. He did meth because he needed it to keep up with the life style decades ago. He built his entire world around once being part of something, even once injury stopped him from swallowing swords. He gained followers and started showing them how to perform routines.

To your question about me, I think everyone is affected by the past, it's whether you dwell excessively. I wish I had made different choices, but sometimes that is honest self reflection rather than obsessiveness.

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Post by bwill93 » 10 May 2018, 19:09

I have only read the review of this book, but it seems like an incredible story. In terms of living in the past or future, I think it's natural for people to flip back and forth from past nostalgia to future anxiety or excitement. What I try to do is just live in the present moment. The past is gone, it's never coming back. Learn from it and move on as best as you can. After all, what is life but just one continuous present moment? To me, it seems that if you're not living in the Now then you're not living.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 11 May 2018, 18:28

K Geisinger wrote:
10 May 2018, 12:38
kfwilson6 wrote:
09 May 2018, 20:43
"Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is not guaranteed, " Duke told Gary.

Do you think Duke was true to living by this sentiment?
Do you live by this or are you too stuck in the past or too worried about the future?
I think Duke wanted to believe he lived in the present, but everything about him still screamed of his past. The man was dying of cancer, but he still performed because he once was part of a circus. He did meth because he needed it to keep up with the life style decades ago. He built his entire world around once being part of something, even once injury stopped him from swallowing swords. He gained followers and started showing them how to perform routines.
I like this insight that you have. I think I agree with you that Duke wanted to believe that he lived in the present. The thing I really noticed about this quote was that he insisted on not planning for or striving for the future. He blew through money, never saving anything, and he refused to do anything about his injury or his cancer. Sure, I’m not guaranteed tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to prepare for it as a possibility or try to stick around to experience it.

In some ways, I do tend to live in the moment. I’m terrible about keeping up with friends from the past, and I often forget to call my family that’s scattered all over the world. I tend to focus on what is right around me. It’s not the best plan, but it’s how I tend to do things. Maybe I should work a bit harder at some of this.

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Post by Christina O Phillips » 11 May 2018, 19:33

I think Duke tried. While Duke was teaching Gary or passing on some kind of life wisdom, I always got the feeling that he was telling Gary things he wished he had lived by to help Gary not actually saying things that he always lived by himself.

As for me, I am very present-minded. I have my past, but it has made me who I am and I have learned from it and like to live in the present. My husband is very future-minded. We balance each other well. :)

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Post by desantismt_17 » 12 May 2018, 12:27

I think Duke is doing his best to live in the present. He continues to do what he does because he enjoys it. Maybe he's a little stuck in the past, but even the most present-centric of us can be from time to time.

As for me, I do my best to live in the moment. It's tough to do sometimes, and I know I can easily fall into obsessing about the past or future. The key, I think, is not to stop those slips, but to acknowledge them, thank them for their input, and come back to the present. The past gives us something to learn from. The future gives us something to look forward to, but we truly only do have this moment.

Now to do what I just said. ;)
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 May 2018, 12:36

desantismt_17 wrote:
12 May 2018, 12:27
I think Duke is doing his best to live in the present. He continues to do what he does because he enjoys it. Maybe he's a little stuck in the past, but even the most present-centric of us can be from time to time.

As for me, I do my best to live in the moment. It's tough to do sometimes, and I know I can easily fall into obsessing about the past or future. The key, I think, is not to stop those slips, but to acknowledge them, thank them for their input, and come back to the present. The past gives us something to learn from. The future gives us something to look forward to, but we truly only do have this moment.

Now to do what I just said. ;)
I think you are absolutely right about Duke. I think his desire to help Gary was a sign of his connection to his past, but his need to move past it. He did not want Gary to get hung up for the rest of his life on the mistakes he had made. He wanted him to get out of the cycle and find something worth living for today.

Every day is a new day to start over, to gain a fresh perspective, or to do something different. It can be challenging and scary, but getting away from bad habits is the best way to focus on today and forget about yesterday.

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Post by Bookmermaid » 12 May 2018, 16:20

To some extent, this statement is true in that it can help you maximize the potential of the present without bogging oneself with crippling experiences of the past.

I think that learning from past mistakes of oneself or even others always allows an individual to make better choices in his present moment and ultimately create a successful future.

Duke is a character full of zest and he enjoys living for the moment.

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Post by bootsie0126+ » 12 May 2018, 17:57

kfwilson6 wrote:
12 May 2018, 12:36
desantismt_17 wrote:
12 May 2018, 12:27
I think Duke is doing his best to live in the present. He continues to do what he does because he enjoys it. Maybe he's a little stuck in the past, but even the most present-centric of us can be from time to time.

As for me, I do my best to live in the moment. It's tough to do sometimes, and I know I can easily fall into obsessing about the past or future. The key, I think, is not to stop those slips, but to acknowledge them, thank them for their input, and come back to the present. The past gives us something to learn from. The future gives us something to look forward to, but we truly only do have this moment.

Now to do what I just said. ;)
I think you are absolutely right about Duke. I think his desire to help Gary was a sign of his connection to his past, but his need to move past it. He did not want Gary to get hung up for the rest of his life on the mistakes he had made. He wanted him to get out of the cycle and find something worth living for today.

Every day is a new day to start over, to gain a fresh perspective, or to do something different. It can be challenging and scary, but getting away from bad habits is the best way to focus on today and forget about yesterday.
It is impossible to let our past go or not to think about tomorrow. The problem comes in when you are unable to get past yesterday and never account for tomorrow. In other words, the things from our past reminds of of where we came from to get to where we are today. The past helps us to move past yesterday, reflecting on doing better than the mistakes we made in the past. Although, we may lay down to sleep one night and unfortunately never wake up, there is nothing that can be done. We have no control over what's ahead but not planning for your future is unwise. It's okay to plan for the next day but if you obsess about either yesterdays gone past or days down the road. We will be forever stuck in one place, lost.

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Post by Ginnamassa19 » 13 May 2018, 03:49

I do think Duke lived by what he told Gary--he seemed to have a live-fast-die-young, devil-may-care attitude (or at least it felt like he wanted most of the world to think he did). It seems like a fitting life for a circus performer, anyway, since there are so many connotations of the temporary connected with circus life.

I'm always way too worried about what the future will bring, so it's really fun to read a story where a main character thinks the opposite way. :)

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kfwilson6
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Post by kfwilson6 » 13 May 2018, 10:44

Ginnamassa19 wrote:
13 May 2018, 03:49
I do think Duke lived by what he told Gary--he seemed to have a live-fast-die-young, devil-may-care attitude (or at least it felt like he wanted most of the world to think he did). It seems like a fitting life for a circus performer, anyway, since there are so many connotations of the temporary connected with circus life.

I'm always way too worried about what the future will bring, so it's really fun to read a story where a main character thinks the opposite way. :)
I'm the same way. I am continuously thinking about the plans, obligations, and responsibilities I have coming up next and often forget to enjoy the moment I'm in.
I also have a hard time letting go of certain things in my past.

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Post by demydon » 13 May 2018, 10:47

I'm always way too worried
about what the future will
bring, so it's really fun to
read a story where a main
character thinks the opposite
way.
I'm the same way. I am continuously
thinking about the plans, obligations,
and responsibilities I have coming up
next and often forget to enjoy the
moment I'm in.
I also have a hard time letting go of
certain things in my past.

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Post by ViziVoir » 13 May 2018, 13:13

It's true that yesterday is only a memory, but memories can be powerful! I try to let go of negative experiences while learning from what's happened in my past. I find that it's a balance; living solely for the present seems somewhat unwise to me.

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Post by Espie » 13 May 2018, 20:54

kfwilson6 wrote:
09 May 2018, 20:43
"Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is not guaranteed, " Duke told Gary.

Do you live by this or are you too stuck in the past or too worried about the future?
"Today is a gift that's why it's called present." This came from one of my family's movies, Kung Fu Panda. I would definitely agree. Yet, it's always easier to express a thought or an idea, but doing it is another thing and takes more effort and will power at times, especially when pressures and the cares of the world become more pronounced than the rest of the aspects of a person's life, and persistently consumes a whole lot more of an individual's brain space and time. Nonetheless, what the book's author Gary wrote in his posted letter (viewtopic.php?f=81&t=67002), "inspiration" and "redemption" could be found.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

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Post by Chigat1 » 15 May 2018, 13:12

kfwilson6 wrote:
09 May 2018, 20:43
"Yesterday is just a memory and tomorrow is not guaranteed, " Duke told Gary.

Do you think Duke was true to living by this sentiment?
Do you live by this or are you too stuck in the past or too worried about the future?
Well duke has a reasons , to reflect back to the past with the present in view but , it's all like a twist in time with, how things unfolds .

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