Slow Dance – An Ode to Life

I received this by email the other day. It was written by a terminally ill teenage girl in a New York Hospital who was suffering from cancer.

Over the past couple of years, I have met a lot of people who have been affected by cancer, as well as an old friend of mine who is currently battling pancreatic cancer. The doctors tell him he does not have long so this poem has even more meaning. (edit: my good friend Brian passed away not long after and another good school friend died the following year).

I can’t say if my experience with cancer sufferers – either direct or indirect – is “normal” compared to the rest of the population, but I go through periods in my life where different illness groups seem to gravitate into my life. Are these groups of people somehow gravitating to me on a subconscious/spiritual level, or is it just coincidence? Another odd fact is that when most of them recover from the illness – whether emotional or physical – they tend to move on in their lives and out of my circle. The pattern hints as an as-yet-undefined metaphysical system at work that requires further research.

On with the poem …

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
‘Cause you never had time
To call and say,’Hi’

You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race,
Do take it slower,
Hear the music
Before the song is over.