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Unwrap Today’s Gifts

  • Elliott
  • August 12, 2014
  • 2

I was reviewing some of my old reflections and I discovered a piece of prose which I shared back in 2002. This interesting short writing was included by Og Mandino in his book The Greatest Mystery in the World. I invite you to read this and consider it carefully.


By Dr. Frank Crane

I am Yesterday. I am gone from you forever.

I am the last of a long procession of days, streaming behind you,
away from you, pouring into mist and obscurity, and at last looking back 1 400 pix
into the ocean of oblivion.

Each of us have our burden, of triumph, of defeat, of laughter,
of bitterness; we bear our load from you into forgetfulness;
yet as we go we each leave something in your subconsciousness.

We fill your soul’s cellar.

I depart from you; yet I am ever with you.

Once I was called Tomorrow and was virgin pure; then I
became your spouse and was named Today; now I am Yesterday and
carry upon me the eternal stain of your embrace.

I am one of the leaves of a growing book. There are
many pages before me. Some day you shall turn us all over
and read us and know what you are.

I am pale, for I have no hope. Only Memories. looking back 2 400

I am rich, for I have wisdom.

I bore you a child and left him with you.
His name is Experience.

You do not like to look at me. I am not pretty.
I am majestic, fateful, serious.

You do not love my voice. It does not speak to your desires;
it is cool and even and full of prudence.

I am Yesterday; yet I am the same as Today and Forever
for I AM YOU; and you cannot escape from yourself.

Sometimes I talk with my companions about you. looking back 3 400
Some of us carry the scars of your cruelty.
Some the wretchedness of your crime.
Some the beauty of your goodness.
We do not love you. We do not hate you.
We judge you.

We have no compassion; only Today has that.
We have no encouragement for you; only Tomorrow has that.

We stand at the front door of the past,
welcoming the single file of days that pass through,
watching Tomorrows becoming Todays and then enter
among us.

Little by little we suck out your life, as vampires.
As you grow older we absorb your thought. You turn to us
more and more; less and less toward Tomorrow.

Our snows cumber your back and whiten your head.
Our icy waters put out your passions. Our exhalations
dim your hopes. Our many tombstones crowd into your
landscape. Our dead loves, burnt-out enthusiasms,
shattered dream-house, dissolved illusions, move
to you, surround you.

Tomorrows come unnoticed. Todays slip by unheeded.
More and more you become a creature of Yesterdays.

Ours are banquet halls full of wine-soaked tablecloths,
broken vessels, wilted roses.

Ours are empty churches where aspirations were,
where only ghosts are.

Ours are ghastly Pompeiian streets, rich galleons
a hundred fathoms deep, genealogical lists of sonorous
names, mummies in museums, fragmentary pillars of battered
temples, inscriptions on bricks of Nineveh, huge stone
gates standing amidst the tropical landscape of Yucatan,
Etruscan wine jars now dry and empty forever.

From us comes that miasma of inertia that holds
humanity in thrall; from us comes the strength of war-makers,
monarchs, and all the privileged.

We reach up long, sinewy, gray arms of custom and hands reaching 335
tradition, to choke Today and impede Tomorrow.

We are the world’s Yesterdays. If you knew enough
to put your feet upon us, you might rise rapidly. But
when you let us ride on your backs we strangle and
smother you.

I am Yesterday. Learn to look me in the face,
to use me, and not to be afraid of me.

I am not your friend. I am your judge
— and your fear.

Tomorrow is your friend.

There are no chains which bind us to yesterday. While the idea of starting with a clean slate, today, can seem impossible there is no reason, other than habit, to carry any emotional baggage from the past.

Today is all there is, and even an hour from now is not guaranteed.

This is why being fully present to this moment is so essential. It is also why we cannot put off, until tomorrow, anything which needs to be said or done today.

Today is our friend. The only value yesterday holds is the knowledge and wisdom gained though its experience. Wipe your slate clean and begin, this moment, with new eyes. Allow each instant to unfold without the pain of yesterday’s memories and you may be amazed at what treasure’s await discovery.


  1. Amazing, I was just looking at your web site as you had left a message on my poem, and the first thing was written by Dr. Frank Crane, strangely ..this morning , ( I am a Social Worker ) in my group therapy I read a small quote by Frank Crane ( from Mark Nepo’s book) and I see this name for second time visiting your web site. I just thought that was pretty cool. (in fact is under December 3, 2014 daily reading ) I smiles…no coincidence. Blessings..

    1. Thank you Sehnaz. I appreciate you for taking the time to post and for taking time to read my blog. What is most amazing about your serendipity is the fact that I wrote this piece, originally 12 years ago just so he could speak to you today. I love how God works.

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