But will you?

03 Mar


I have been as guilty of it as anyone.

But much less so these days.  Now the shadows are lengthening.

Because there is but one life.  There is no heaven in which to smugly contemplate relentless eternity. There is no hell to somehow face greater suffering. There are no forty virgins with legs spread wide. There is no reincarnation as a deer, or a fox, or someone somehow better.

There is only now.

The years which seemed to stretch out endlessly when we are soft and still to be moulded, constantly gather momentum. Like water rushing out of the basin. Like sand escaping the narrowing hour glass.  Life is so short. Time is so precious.

And yet we waste it.  We procrastinate.  We dither. We make excuses. We pretend to be something we are not rather than act upon who we are. We pretend we are looking for perfection as if it really exists. We fear making mistakes and instead we do nothing.  We hold ourselves back, saving our hearts, bodies and souls for some day, some person, some event that may never be. Our days pass by with nothing to mark them but the calendar. We always think that there is still tomorrow …

I know I will eventually end my days regretting the women, the times, the joys (and even the sorrows) I did not have far more than I will regret those I had*.

I once told Beauty that Life is not a Rehearsal.

She did not listen.

But will you?



* I am certain this thought is stolen from elsewhere, so do forgive the plagiarism

© the author writing as Romantic Dominant

Art by the lovely buzillo


Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Still Life


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

104 responses to “But will you?

  1. littlekaninchen

    March 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Life is not a rehearsal… So true.


  2. carolinejuliette

    March 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    So true and yet it’s still a hard thing to live each day to the fullest. Life takes on a force of it’s own with the constant demands of others. I’m trying to make my own rules & do what makes me happy.


  3. thesacredroad

    March 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    yet it’s never too late to embrace now and live, breathe, appreciate, and saturate yourself in in each and every moment. xx


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      You are right. As long as we do it from now and not from tomorrow.


  4. Reticent Mental Property

    March 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Racing the fading…all of us. Dancing slows things down to a savoring pace.


  5. Amba

    March 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Your writing has this haunting quality. The words stay with me much after I leave your blog. Also, I know that uncomfortable feeling when a thought comes to mind and you jot down a post about it, only to wonder if that thought or this post is gently influenced by something else you read somewhere. It can be frustrating to not know for sure 🙂


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you. I am glad to know I haunt. Or at least my words do.
      Yes. We do not mean to steal. But we do unconsciously


  6. mlbk7

    March 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Charming; but oh how eloquently you express regret and so very clever. I believe it is the one word i would never want to hear. xo


  7. ineedyoutoneedme

    March 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Reblogged this on I NEED YOU TO NEED ME and commented:
    I so relate to this especially lately….


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      I am glad you can relate to it. Thank you for reblogging. An honour.


  8. sometimes

    March 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Odd, I woke up this morning (in fact fell asleep last night) pondering….no…FEELING regret. Not sure why, that is a rare thing for me. But, I felt it nonetheless. Strangely fortuitous that this morning I find you have written about it. Thank you.


  9. Kayla Lords

    March 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Beautiful, as always…your words have crept into my heart and mind. They make me want to believe again.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      Then you must. Have faith in yourself if nothing else. Thank you for reading.


  10. pivoine68

    March 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I’m trying R.D., really I am.


  11. elettracavendish

    March 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Lovely post. Your writing is consistently evocative.

    May I point out one inaccuracy without appearing to be either pompous or downright bitchy? I’m quite sure you meant 72 virgins, not 40… You are not alone in making the confusion (if you have any interest in knowing more, it’s very easy to research). The only reason I know is because post 9/11 I had to put up with so much ignorance on the part of the Americans (I worked for an American investment bank in Asia at the time) that I did some very minimal homework so as not to appear quite as foolish as the boys on the trading floor.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      I am always happy when errors, inaccuracies or spelling mistakes are pointed out to me. I am an atheist and am frustrated, depressed and disappointed by the power of ALL religion. So I while am glad to know it is 72 – 40 always seemed a little ungenerous for martyrdom – I will leave it as a statement of my lack of interest in the feelings of believers.
      But please – I am sure my writing is full of howlers, so don’t stop pointing them out.
      Glad to have you reading.


  12. Maggie Carpenter

    March 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Best yet and absolutely must reblog. Thank you D… thank you.


  13. julienmatei

    March 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    You said it all:

    “Time is so precious.

    And yet we waste it. We procrastinate. We dither. We make excuses. We pretend to be something we are not rather than act upon who we are. We pretend we are looking for perfection as if it really exists. We fear making mistakes and instead we do nothing. We hold ourselves back, saving our hearts, bodies and souls for some day, some person, some event that may never be. We always think that there is still tomorrow …”

    This quote that illustrates this very well too: “Everything was tomorrow…but tomorrow never came…”

    No matter how much you say this to people, they are seemingly uninterested to hear. “Our days pass by with nothing to mark them but the calendar.” It is so – a hollow life, terribly uneventful and prosaic.

    I think people like it that way, they enjoy being dead – otherwise they would live, wouldn´t they…?


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting so fully.

      It is easy to let the days slide by, easy to accept the mundane and mediocre, easy to not step outside our comfort zones, easy not to aspire, easy not challenge, not to risk, not to be brave.

      I know, because I have been as guilty of it as anyone. And yet the fulfilment and joy that comes from even the smallest steps towards being true to our inner selves and what we want outweighs the fear.

      Thanks again – an honour to be reflagged


  14. julienmatei

    March 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Mirrors of Encounters and commented:
    Yes, Life is not a rehearsal…


  15. bitesofshe

    March 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    A delicate balance of life, love & lust……as a dreamer in reality, it can be the harshest of places, yet aching to seek the fulfilment I need, I teeter on the tightrope of life x


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      ‘A dreamer in reality’. I know that place well. And the tightrope. Thanks for your comment


  16. couldiswapmychildrenforpenguins

    March 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I especially liked this, it gave me a lot to think about.


  17. emmylgant

    March 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    No do over or time out… but grabbing life with both hands and living it to the full takes constant awareness of the moment. That is difficult to maintain; there is so much interference!


  18. gypsy116

    March 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Pieces of Me.


  19. anna zielona (@spellbound_by)

    March 4, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Each and every word is penetrating every corner of the soul of my dorm and I wonder how everything just seems to be slipping out of my grasp…
    Each word makes me wonder… what I have done wrong… living your tragedy in my heart


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      I would hate the thought of you living my tragedy. I hope it all comes together. Thank you for reading and commenting.


  20. lunastarla

    March 4, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Thank you for reminding me that I need to take chances in life so I don’t regret the things I didn’t say or do. There’s really no day but today. 🙂


  21. butterflyx3

    March 4, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Sometimes risking your heart is the biggest risk of all, (when it has a history) even as time passes and you know deep down inside it is what you truly want, you still fear the unknown outcome… *sigh* But it is true life is not a rehearsal….


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      The outcomes are usually not fatal. It is worth the risk.
      Always good to have your comments.


  22. janineyork

    March 4, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I have a spirituality that is not based on religion. It is hard for me to not believe in this power of greater good that lives in me, without learning it, it is innate. It is a guide that seems to give me strength. I fear often that I fool myself, like Voltaire said “If there was no God, man would have a need to invent him.” It is a lot to think about for those of us who have not fulfilled life in the manner that we wish. It is a good idea, to make the most of who you are right now and what you have. No one really knows. I love this. You are amazing!


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      I understand your spirituality. I felt it once but have become more cynical as time has passed. I am glad it is still strong inside you.
      It is a challenge to not think that tomorrow will solve everything and we will be better people when the sun next rises. But even if we keep remember that this is our only chance, it helps.
      It is wonderful to be called amazing.
      Strangely I had reservations about this post – I am actually far prouder of the post I make reference to in this one – but it provoked little attention. Perhaps I am a poor judge of my own words – indeed, I often judge them poor. Smiles.


      • janineyork

        March 6, 2013 at 4:39 am

        I read the post that you made reference to. I cannot imagine having someone so gifted with words adore me this way. You are truly a light in a world of darkness. Your expression of love is so moving. I am so glad that I found you.


        • Romantic Dominant

          March 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm

          So close to blushing. But I don’t.
          Thank you. A lovely thing to write.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Hate is a strong word. I chose it carefully. Smiles. Thank for visiting.


  23. hotlilmess

    March 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    To not dance is to have lost, to stop dancing is to quit. The fine line in between gets me every time. Very real and thought provoking for me. Thank you for writing.


  24. loneyheart

    March 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I swear there are days when i feel you are writing directly to me. I sit out of fear. Not wanting to make a mistake so i do nothing. The life i live now brings me little joy. And i see happiness but fear reaching for it. I do not want to be the one who does not listen. I want to live life, to feel the wind in my hair. I thank you for your words as they move me ever closer to action.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Smiles. As I replied to a previous comment, there is little we do that has fatal consequences. So it is usually worth the risk. We pay to much attention to protecting our romantic heart and not fulfilling our romantic soul.


  25. La La

    March 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Beautifully captures this. It’s hard, telling this to another, and having that person not grasp it. I understand this so completely and feel it so fully and sometimes I want to shake others that don’t seem to get it.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Yes. And though it is hard to understand those who do not recognise that we are all the stars of our one and only performance – at the same time the world does all it can to make them feel diminished.
      Thanks for your comment


  26. Heartafire

    March 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Life is not a rehearsal and fleeting…it is later than we think. Love your succinct and beautiful message Mr. D.
    btw, on a side note , I lost a post on my blog that you had commented on, can’t find either, so must apologize. I appreciated your comment tremendously…It was the Diana Krall tribute.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Indeed, it is always later than we think. Thank you.
      I am sorry about the post – my comment was less important. You have catholic tastes in music.


  27. Heartafire

    March 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    another footnote: I feel this is one of your best.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you, dear Heart I appreciate your praise very much. Yet it is strange, as I replied earlier in the comment thread, that I almost did not post this because I thought it weak. The post I reference in this one is one of which I am most proud, and yet it gathered little attention. I clearly have faulty quality control!


      • hotlilmess

        March 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        ….for some reason this came across my screen. i wiped away a tear and laughed at ..”i clearly have faulty quality control” and out of my mouth spoke..perhaps, but still control nonetheless. Thank you for making me smile and even giggle at myself.


        • Romantic Dominant

          March 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm

          I must admit I laughed when I read your comment. Funny girl. Smiles


      • Heartafire

        March 5, 2013 at 5:35 am

        This is truly a jewel, Mr. D.


  28. lyriquediscorde

    March 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I am trying with all that I am to follow this advice, to live in the moment, to not live in the limbo of rehearsal and denial and postponement. Back when I used to act I would try to remember to not get lost in the pretend or the pretense, and to remember how vivid and awake and alive it felt to be on-stage, live, with no safety net. Life should feel as that, too. Perhaps it is with age I hear this even stronger, and yet I admit I still find myself struggling to live, and not waste. To follow my bliss, even when it seems perhaps I should hold back.

    I agree, this is one of your best writing. Wonderful words.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      It is a challenge, there is no question.

      Strange how what I thought was a weak post seems to be liked.

      Thank you for commenting


  29. lyriquediscorde

    March 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    It is a strange feeling when that happens, isn’t it? I have done the same. Sometimes we do not realize the beauty and wisdom in what we share, I suppose. And yes, it is a challenge, though easier now that I am not as young as I once was. Always enjoy your words…


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you

      None of us are as young as we once were.


      • lyriquediscorde

        March 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        Very true, though I am glad for it most of the time. I am much more comfortable in my skin at 43, then I ever was at 23.


  30. cjriordan

    March 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I think it is funny that we harbor the illusion of infinite time. We live our lives knowing they are finite. Reading examples of that in our newspapers, internet news, blogs. Everywhere we look we are staring at examples of exactly how little time we have. Yet we persist in our illusion that there will always be a tomorrow.

    Last November, as I was driving home from the grocery store, I passed the scene of a car accident. A young woman, 22, had been driving dangerously and careened across four lanes, smashing into a steel pole. She died. I remember reading about the woman in the paper the following day. I drove past the scene again (it was near my house I pass it almost daily) and I could picture this young woman in the mirror the prior morning, brushing her hair and fussing with her makeup. I am quite sure she had no clue whatsoever that she would not be alive by dinnertime that evening.

    I went home that night and my family and I had dessert for dinner. 😉

    Beautifully written and I thank you for the reminder. We need them constantly. At least this one doesn’t come with a funeral.


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      It takes that kind of shock. And yet the shock does not last. We remain immortal while the world around us dies.
      I really do hope it does not end in a funeral.
      Thanks for your wise comment


  31. hotlilmess

    March 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Yesterday i read this, i digested it, i even *giggled briefly. Today, i was brave. Thank you.


  32. Evelyn

    March 8, 2013 at 2:01 am

    “We pretend we are looking for perfection as if it really exists.”
    What if I am not pretending?
    I hate things that remind me of this fact, mortality… like The Flaming Lips song “Do You Realize?” and that Verve song “Bittersweet Symphony”?
    Cant take it. must cry.


  33. Romantic Dominant

    March 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Reblogged this on A Faded Romantic's Notebook and commented:

    This was exactly one year ago.
    I am not sure I have lived by my own maxims. But then, do you


    • lesliemeeks

      March 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      You’re right RD. Life is not a rehearsal. While reading this, I took my forefinger and wiped away a tear that that was falling out of the far corner of my eye. I’m very guilty of what you have written. I have wasted so much time in the past several years because I’m afraid. I really don’t know what I’m afraid of, but it needs to stop because as you say, life is to short. My dad died at the age of 41 of a heart attack. My mom died at the age of 69 of breast cancer. My oldest sister died at the age of 50 in her sleep. If their lives is any indication to go by, I won’t be on this earth much longer. One never knows do they? Your blog has given me much to think about. This is haunting me. As always, beautifully written.


      • Romantic Dominant

        March 3, 2014 at 10:29 pm

        So much tragedy. I am sorry. Who knows what we are scared of. Perhaps only ourselves. Thank you for reading and your kind words.


  34. Yva Lane (@Yva_Lane)

    March 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    My father would tell me ‘life is not a rehearsal’ as a means of berating my wild behaviour as I was growing up……he would drive me crazy. He died just over a year ago and I have realised of late he was right. I’m just not even sure where to begin


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      I am sorry for your loss. Yet it is not wild behaviour that should be curbed necessarily. Only living ordinarily and without a dream and purpose. And of course, it isn’t easy. I know that better than most. Thank you for reading and commenting.


      • Yva Lane (@Yva_Lane)

        March 4, 2014 at 6:29 am

        Thank you it’s made me smile that you too can see the irony in his use of the words. I have the dream and purpose I’m just not sure if it is realistic…….I think I may live with my head in the clouds. But *smiles and tries to stop nervously fidgeting…straightens dress with purpose* who knows …maybe today. Thank you again your writing is beautiful and inspiring


  35. suzisummer

    March 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Reblogged this on mcnealte.


  36. MuseWriter

    March 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Putting any sort of religion or spirituality aside, what do we call the moment when living in between the “nows.” Can we get lost in ourselves only considering the present? I find this to be a kind of motivational inspiration but I wonder at the price of putting so much exploration in the concept of living in the “now;” how exhausting of an endeavor you implore your readers to take advantage! As the feelings presented closely resembles the similarities of acknowledging my own passions, I relate with your journey. Both pieces are written beautifully, bravo my friend!


    • Romantic Dominant

      March 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you. There are no easy answers. But there is very little danger of most of us living in the now. We are all too conservative for that. Thank you for the compliment.


  37. Marian Green

    March 4, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Hullo RD. Thanks for the food for thought. I try to live free of regret. Though it’s not always possible.


  38. motloungmaditjhaba

    March 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Reblogged this on Finding myself and commented:
    This is worth sharing…it is intense and insightful.Love it


  39. georgeforfun

    March 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Reblogged this on georgeforfun.


  40. georgeforfun

    March 4, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Reblogged this on georgeforfun.


  41. sharronkelley

    March 5, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I have….and I will…and sometimes the answer will be “no.” But I still have to try


  42. redklwr2006 Kym

    March 6, 2014 at 3:51 am

    I do my best to live life as it comes and with that comes mistakes, missteps and the occasional miscue but no regrets. Regrets are not for those who tried and failed but for those who never tried at all


  43. justagirllost2

    December 3, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Although I ‘liked’ this haunting, eloquent post, I must respectfully disagree. Life is so much more than existing on this earthly plane. Life is a journey unique to each soul created by a Creator before time began. We were created out of Love. We are meant for Love. We have a purpose no other can accomplish and we have a path to follow. Love is the lesson and heaven is our true home.
    It’s my belief and I find great hope and joy in it.



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