‘Carpe diem’ doesn’t mean seize the day — it means something gentler and more sensible. ‘Carpe diem’ means pluck the day. Carpe, pluck. Seize the day would be ‘cape diem,’ if my school Latin serves… What Horace had in mind was that you should gently pull on the day’s stem, as it were, say, a wildflower or an olive, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things… Pluck the cranberry or blueberry of the day tenderly free without damaging it, is what Horace meant — pick the day, harvest the day, reap the day, mow the day, forage the day. Don’t freaking grab the day in your fist like a burger at a fairground and take a big chomping bite out of it.
~ Nicholson Baker