Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spirit Lightener

It has been known that I can get caught up in visions of the past (the happy, the miserable, or just the excruciatingly embarrassing) and plans for the future (a great trip, or just now, do I really want replacements of both knees and all the risks that brings?), caught up to the point where I can be almost oblivious to the "now".

And yet, that now is all we have. It is only in "the now" that we even have any of the past (and by now it's often so reinterpreted as to be unrecognizable to anyone else who was there).

Heck, the universe itself started with a huge "now" - the Big Bang - a Big Bang which we are simply riding in the middle of, as it spreads itself out, rather like one of those red explosions behind the tumbling lead actors in a TV adventure. We are travelling on one of those bits of wood chips in the middle of the flame, so to speak. It is always "now".

Which reminds me of this great poem by William Stafford in "The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems"

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval
you spent reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

What can anyone guive you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn

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