“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. But, if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
The Present Moment
If I try to, I cannot reach back into all my yesterdays and reclaim them. And, even if I could, all that I would achieve is a reconstruction of days as perfect past moments. So I cannot reach back and hold any moment as it was. Besides I don't want to, the past is the past and best left as formative memory for better or worse.
The future eludes me in smoke and mirrors, the pathway is unclear, no plan is foolproof. Besides, if I could see even just a little ahead I would be adjusting my approach towards the perfect experience.
The most abiding feeling I have is of the fleeting present moment. That moment, the blinking of an eye, the moment between the inward and outward breath, which passes so quickly. These moments come and go and I have learned to treasure them before they slip into yesterday. But, to be in the present moment, I have to be present.
“Everybody should keep some grip on childhood, even as a grownup.” Tim Curry
One Way Through
As spring made way for summer everything seemed full and lush, even the northern July evenings were slightly longer than the ending of Hey Jude which was idyllic when sleep seemed like theft of life. But there were dark tones in this summer of light. Why was mum so frightened, why were dad's fists so loud? It was a house of mixed feelings like the edge of a wave teetering near rocks.
Sometimes there was a deep silence, followed by absence. Baby-sitters appeared at intervals, young couples whose tongues were intertwined in closed eyes of desire, though not so much before I was given a cup of cocoa and soon sent to bed.
Our house wasn't ancient, but it was easy to hear anyone coming up the stairs, so I knew I could please myself in a wonderland. So I would throw back the curtains and marvel at the light, open the window and dangle my legs over the ledge. I was lost in the wonder of peace and stillness, dreaming of tigers, Sherwood Forest, and rescuing Alice from queens unknown. This was my refuge.
I sailed the angry sea
past dark resolution rocks
you are my refuge.
“Fierce eagles do not produce timorous doves.” Horace
45c and the road, straighter than straight, rolling beyond what the rusted sign advised. Blues, liquid, twelve bar, driving through this dry land. Paddocks hollow and stricken, rain forsaken for so long now, nothing holds in this dust. Crows picking the eyes out of everything that ceases to move, that cadaver buffet for pall bearers.
The gates blur in fifth, the barbed wire whispers strained songs of lament and I weep as I pass the delusion of hope trying to bale non-existent hay, the sadness of twenty bales to a hundred acres. And I weep for this place where endings complete and there are no obvious beginnings.
I slow as I see the spectre eyeing emaciated sheep. The angel of death eyes me and I nod in deference, better an ending than tortured horizons. I wave my blessing, thankful that the feathered euthanasia will ease the shepherds pain. In this moment the eagle is surgeon, priest and mourner, holding a ritual, taking death for life.