The present is you, and me and all the rest, fleeting, precious, open to being embraced.
We carry the sum of our experiences in the vessel of memory.
We imagine the future in the vessel of hope.
We honor the present by knowing it fully, in becoming the vessel itself each and every moment. We become the witness, and if so inclined, the fountainhead of gratitude for all we could easily if accidentally take for granted.
Yesterday I walked into my first day of kindergarten. I blinked and had a bachelors degree. A few days later I held my ten-minute old baby boy, I blinked and he’s gone to college. We all feel it, the Einsteinian vortex that turns days into years, then decades into nanoseconds. All in the blink of an eye.
I am aware of the fact that I overuse the word ‘bittersweet,’ but I’ve not as yet found a more suitable way to describe this beautiful, sorrowful adventure. ‘Love’ is another word that some feel falls in the category of overused. I personally love the concept of the bittersweetness of life, so there.
In the presence of things we love we don’t want to blink. We don’t want to miss a moment. Then eyes shut tight when boredom, discord, or darkness flood our tiny worlds. So then it is the case that we choose to be open, to be present, or to blink, to escape. Hungry eyes open wide for the moments we cherish or crave, then clench to deflect pain or fear or push tears as they wash over us. Human nature, yes.
It’s easy to watch our loves grow up, not so to watch them grow weary and wither. Blink, and you’ll miss it, but what is it? The person you could have spent a mostly happy life with? Your children’s childhood or perhaps your own? The chance to create something beautiful that instead will never be? Adulthood takes on the quality of endlessness for a time, the perfect breeding ground for the cunning cancer of complacency.
We cannot stop the ‘illusion of time,’ but we can choose to challenge its passage with vigilance. When the days grow short, and memory becomes our most precious holding; when we painstakingly replay the moments of our lives, will we rejoice in, or regret the choices we’ve made? How much will we have truly seen, known, or touched? How much will we have lost to the blink of an eye?
Transient: defined as that which lasts only a short time. Transience is the yin to the yang of permanence, or is it? Opposites in appearance yes, but is it not the case that ‘permanence’ is no more than a charlatan, a false idol, a lie? Permanence is the deception that gets us up in the morning allowing us to wrench meaning from the jaws of existential crisis. In that respect its a benevolent lie I suppose. Deception from inception all the same.
This moment is all we have.It is all that is guaranteed, yet somehow it is difficult to appreciate the present without superimposing it over the illusion of the future…
Pause for dialogue:
Me in mock exasperation, “Dude, stop licking my computer!”Our silver tabby cat Rubicon glares at me for a moment, goes back to licking the left corner of my screen then rubs her face on it.She probably doesn’t give much truck to blogging or existential crises.
In the song “My Generation” the iconic British rock band The Who sang, “Hope I die before I get old.”What’s the rush. We were all born with punched tickets aboard the transient train. There are no doors, the windows are riveted shut, one-way tickets indeed! Whether the journey takes one across the Himalayas or the D.C. Beltway, our stop comes not when we are ready, but when it is. Each moment is precious, even when our moods beg to differ.
Rubicon, the cat, stares at me from the brick porch in the dwindling twilight. I reach down and give a long, loving scratch to her sage kitty head.Clouds pass lazily against the backdrop of the fading blue spring sky. Much as we pass over the ever fading light of individual experience. It’s early for fireflies, but I see one lonely boy broadcasting his premature beacon of hope over the hedgerow. On the continuum of time, he’s a fellow transient, making sense of things to the best of his ability along with the rest of us.
I watch the cat, the firefly, and the clouds follow their paths and am moved by their natural gift for unfettered being. All radiate the aura of simply existing here and now without shouldering the specter of discontent. Its neither blockbuster entertainment, nor acclaimed indy cinema, but I leave the theatre of my evening with a full heart, and plenty to ponder.