"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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holsam_87
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Re: "All you have is today."

Post by holsam_87 » 17 May 2018, 00:06

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 that he was doing his best to live by this, despite the fact that was still dealing with a lot from his past. As for me, I am constantly worrying about the future. I have tons on my plate and I keep making plans to accommodate what I need.
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Post by bobbiebryner » 17 May 2018, 08:35

I think Duke tried to live for today. He chose the circus because it was always moving. He loved the travel and the new people and places. Even when he was not performing in the circus, he rarely put roots down in any one place. His relationships were brief and casual. On the other hand, none of us are ever truly able to live for today. We are products of our past, just like Duke. He lived with addiction. His tattoos celebrated the circus life and its colorful history. Even his empathy towards other lost souls was a result of his past. I think that none of us are ever fully free of the past. We carry it with us to our present. It alters our choices which affect the future. I think that past, present, and future are all intertwined. I can look on my past and see how my decisions in one moment or another changed the course of my life.

That being said, the only thing we can change is the present. This is the only thing we are able to affect. I have had times in my life where I have had to take life one day at a time. When this was overwhelming, I focused on one hour at a time. Sometimes even that can be too much. If I have to, I will take it minute by minute until I can refocus and cope. I am a planner, though. I must have a plan for the future, a goal to meet. For me, I alternate between reflecting on the past, enjoying or surviving the present, and planning for the future.

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kfwilson6
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Post by kfwilson6 » 17 May 2018, 09:42

bobbiebryner wrote:
17 May 2018, 08:35
I think Duke tried to live for today. He chose the circus because it was always moving. He loved the travel and the new people and places. Even when he was not performing in the circus, he rarely put roots down in any one place. His relationships were brief and casual. On the other hand, none of us are ever truly able to live for today. We are products of our past, just like Duke. He lived with addiction. His tattoos celebrated the circus life and its colorful history. Even his empathy towards other lost souls was a result of his past. I think that none of us are ever fully free of the past. We carry it with us to our present. It alters our choices which affect the future. I think that past, present, and future are all intertwined. I can look on my past and see how my decisions in one moment or another changed the course of my life.

That being said, the only thing we can change is the present. This is the only thing we are able to affect. I have had times in my life where I have had to take life one day at a time. When this was overwhelming, I focused on one hour at a time. Sometimes even that can be too much. If I have to, I will take it minute by minute until I can refocus and cope. I am a planner, though. I must have a plan for the future, a goal to meet. For me, I alternate between reflecting on the past, enjoying or surviving the present, and planning for the future.
This is such a great explanation. I like how you laid out exactly how Duke lived by his motto by being a part of the circus life. Being a part of the circus basically forced him to live day to day. There wasn't any time to even think about yesterday. It was all about getting through the work to be done in that moment. He did get lost in the past and future simultaneously when he started missing the circus. he would miss the days he was in it and look forward to the start of the new season.

I too plan a lot. Sometimes over plan. We need the past to teach us lessons so we can be better in the future. We need to live in the moment. And we need the future to guide us and give us purpose. Thank you for commenting.

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Post by Lolo Skyooz » 18 May 2018, 16:28

With Duke's substance abuse, it seemed to be that he couldn't really bear any more of either his past or the uncertainty of his future. Both were pretty bleak. But that doesn't mean he was wrong in this quote. I think it showed that he cared about the person he was talking to, and wanted them to have a better life than he did.

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Post by Vivianne Nat » 20 May 2018, 12:24

Perhaps the thought that he has cancer is why he tries to live in the present though there is the uncertainty of the unknown.

At moments we couldn't help but look back and the events that happened in the past affects us so much. Sometimes we also get anxious of the future but i think i have learned to trust God of everything whether the past or the future. Though there are moments when i get overwhelmed of all the things that are happening that i slip back. But i try to stay focus on what matters and that is living today. I entrust my past and i already know who holds my tomorrows.
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Post by bootsie0126+ » 20 May 2018, 19:25

ViziVoir wrote:
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.
Memories serve many functions in our lives. Memories help us to learn from mistakes, gain knowledge and appreciation of the things that we had and simply as a reminder of things gone. It is healthy to look back on the past from time to time, the real problem occurs when we are unable to get out of the past and move forward. Staying in the past means that you are not growing in any way. Standing still will never get you to the next phase of your life.

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Post by bootsie0126+ » 20 May 2018, 19:30

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 find myself the same way. I pay too much attention to things that hasn't happened yet instead of the current time. I must live by the fact that with all the problems that I am facing today, working on those issues is far more productive than stressing out about where my live will take me years, months or even days away. I say that, but it's easier said than done. Hoepfully I can get to the point where I practice what I preach.

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Post by The BookWorm Nagham » 22 May 2018, 02:10

I guess in a way we all try to live in the moment, Duke tried, he was under the illusion that he lived in the present because that's what he wanted to believe.
"Yesterday is just a memory", but it's our memory and it affects our present. We can't live and treat everyday like it's a new day or even our last. Our actions have consequences. It's not that I'm stuck in the past or too worried about the future, but in way past, present and future are related. Our past shape us, it makes us who we are, sure we shouldn't dwell on it, but we can't forget and ignore it. As for the future, who doesn't have goals in life? things he wants to attain and obtain? "Tomorrow isn't guaranteed", but by claiming this, we can't just live everyday buying drugs or partying, that's just wasting our time and life.

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Post by onixpam » 22 May 2018, 20:47

Duke express this idea, but I am not completely sure he lives following his own thoughts, I think people must learn from their's past in order to construct their future,

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Post by Chanti Stargirl » 23 May 2018, 03:00

Our past created who we are today, so I think no one can ever really escape their past. If we never took the time to reflect and learn from our victories and mistakes in the past we would never learn and move forward.

I feel like Duke never really moved on from his past. He claimed to live in the present by not planning for the future, however without dealing with his past Duke was actually just stuck.

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Post by dtb » 23 May 2018, 10:11

ViziVoir wrote:
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.
I agree. Although sometimes it can be difficult to predict what "Future Me" will want and need as "Past Me" has proven from time to time.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 23 May 2018, 18:05

bobbiebryner wrote:
17 May 2018, 08:35
That being said, the only thing we can change is the present. This is the only thing we are able to affect. I have had times in my life where I have had to take life one day at a time. When this was overwhelming, I focused on one hour at a time. Sometimes even that can be too much. If I have to, I will take it minute by minute until I can refocus and cope. I am a planner, though. I must have a plan for the future, a goal to meet. For me, I alternate between reflecting on the past, enjoying or surviving the present, and planning for the future.
This is a strange dichotomy that I find I tend to live by as well. I need to have a plan, but I also have to truly live in the present to have peace. Looking too far ahead will cause me to become overwhelmed.

I think for Duke, it was not about being overwhelmed, though. He just knew that the future was never guaranteed and we cannot change the past. As a result, he chose to live life to the fullest that he could achieve in each moment, never planning for the future.

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Post by arcie72 » 24 May 2018, 04:30

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 it's a matter of what the reader perceives how Duke is living. We also see life through our own lens that have been colored my our lives so even though I could think and say Duke is living by this sentiment others might not. I try to live by this sentiment but at times it is hard. The hard part is not so much the past as that you can not change but of the future. The unknown is hard for type A individuals like me. But that is not to say that I am not happy living life one day at a time.

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Post by ValBookReviews » 25 May 2018, 13:38

Yes, I think Duke was true to living by this sentiment as the way he lived his life, like it was his last. And, I think they both were stuck in the past, thus the reason for the chronic alcohol and drugs to mask and dull the pains of their past.
"And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life". (Revelation 20:12 (NKJV) :reading-7:

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Post by Caden Perry » 26 May 2018, 15:30

I feel as though that quote is accurate. Though to me it says that you shouldn't try to change the past and that what happened before doesn't have to influence what happens today. If you live in the past or the future you never get to get out of your thought's to notice and appreciate the world around you. Though, I do think that it is helpful to look into the past to learn from mistakes to be the best you can today. If you worry too much about tomorrow you don't get to live today and shape the tomorrow you wish. In my opinion, there is a fine balance between how much time you spend in today and how much time you spend in other times. I think that it is best to live my life, not think it.

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