Our old, old oak tree fell down in the middle of the night, taking with it several other large trees. The oak’s been giving shade, soaking in carbon, giving shelter to critters here for at least a couple of hundred years. The loss of this dear friend broke our hearts but also gave us some incredible shots. Notice how St. Francis, miraculously, survived.
Yesterday I finished reading and working through exercises in the Renaissance Soul, by Margaret Lobenstine, a guide for “people with too many passions to pick just one.” Through self-reflection, planning, and goal setting, Lobenstine helps her readers see their multitude of passions as a sign of strength rather than as an indication of flakiness, loose morals, and lack of integrity.
As a slow learner writing fiction, starting writing groups, exploring dance and performance art, facilitating workshops, facilitating dialog groups, training for a marathon, painting, creating mandalas, living in two different cities, writing about slow learners, this book seemed to speak to me personally. I find myself desperately trying my best to focus, Focus, FOCUS on one interest (currently it’s writing), only to be distracted by whatever other interesting thing may come along (dance, paint, mail art, spinning records, extreme crafting, psychogeography, guerilla art). I wonder if I’ll ever accomplish anything serious if I continually allow myself to be teased away by the next new thing? Lobenstine assures me that I don’t have to FOCUS on just one passion in order to achieve in that area. Lobenstine guides us in narrowing our interests to four or five “Focal Points,” and offers a step-by-step approach for planning and goal setting.
I was astounded by how much her work sounded like my own parody of self-help books that I am currently drafting. To be fair, I can’t honestly say that I’m drafting my parody right now, since right now I’m working on another interest which is write about Slow Learning for my blog. And when I’m finished, I will actually do what I’ve planned to do with this time slot work on my own book. With help from the exercises in The Renaissance Soul I won’t spend the rest of the afternoon adding to the list of links on my blog. I will work on my book. And I will FOCUS without feeling cheated, because I’ve already scheduled for The Next Big thing to come along.
There are times when I think I am invincible, but that doesn’t last very long. Just a second or two at a time. Really much less than that. Just an instant. A nanosecond, maybe. The zero time that nothing that lies after the past and before the future.
The now. Just that eency weency speck of time. So tiny, can I even know that it is there? Where is it? Is it now? Now? A blink? Less than a blink? The unrealized, unintelligible, unknowable, unnamable now.
Now is when I am invincible.
That kind of now.
The now that I cannot feel or measure or even know for sure that it exists. The kind of now that one could arguably argue that it doesn’t exist at all.
And still, there it is. Now. Say it fast now. Draw it out with a breath. N o w
And there are times when the energy flows, but now, here I am, pushing and shoving and nothing ever gets anywhere and I don’t know why. The reason why the only reason on earth why anything ever occurs is when we think too much about the past and the future and not about the invincible now
Tiny little zero newborn now
Fresh and innocent
No present ticking away.
No past gathering moss and mildew and tentacles.
No responsibility except for just this little tiny nowness now. The instant between tick and tock without the and of course.
MMMMMMM that time between sensation and perception
Between the flick of tongue between lips
Between the teeth
The twitch you knew was coming, and coming.
Did you know you were coming now?
Are you here now?
Reading this are you reading this now?
Are you bored now?
Want me to write more about sex now, like I did in the past, just a few lines ago.
God, I miss the way things used to be and I so long for a future when things will be different.
Time to get back to now.
Now I’ve been writing about now for the last eight minutes, give a few glimpses of nowness here and there. And nowness gets a squiggly red line under it, when it’s the word squiggly that deserves it.
Now I miss you.
But it’s not about now, really, it’s all about the past and how I want the past to be just like the future, so in the mean time. I’m just waiting on a now that will never get here because I’ve got a now that I might as well get used to.