Living in the moment, now and later

by violingrace

This is the beginning, end, and neither. 

In all previous years, the coming of winter holiday has felt like a weight being lifted off the shoulders and settled on the ground, waiting to be picked up again with the reopening of school in the new year. This year however, the weight doesn’t have time to rest on the ground for a couple of weeks- it must be dealt with now, now, now.

I had my last class of the year this morning. I joined my mom for lunch, downtown, and spent the rest of the afternoon walking. Walking downtown, in the winter, is a pattern of dark paths fenced by tall buildings and bright intersections of glistening roads. It is a constant hum of motors and chatter, marked occasionally by brief eye contact with a human of different purpose. Occasionally, you may hear chirps. And if you look up; there they are, birds, branches, blue sky coupled with smoke.

Living in the moment, seems to be a valued mantra these days. But… is it enough? I decided to channel out my responsibilities this afternoon to walk and observe. I bought pants and a book. I met the eyes of a bright face through the window of a restaurant. I laughed with a man who had jumped in a puddle. I did all of that, and nothing more.

The concept of living in the moment entices me, but it is not sustainable. I think humans need it, but cannot rely on it. We cannot just give the present a seat of its own, letting it dictate us. However, the same could be said about the future. As much as living purely in the present cannot be, so is living for the future.

So where should our actions and decisions lie? How do we mend the truth of our present with the authority of the future?

Of course, I have no clue. If had any remote clue I think I’d be the most put together person in this world. I think what we humans are good at is switching between the two roles or present and future. A cycle of doing what we want to do and what we need to do. In some lucky instances these two aspects meet. But for the rest of the time…

I will have ample opportunity, this winter break, to observe how I handle this dichotomy. It is a strange thing we constantly do… attempting to transform paradoxes into unisons. But, as long as we are creatures of time (and of love… imagination…) , we cannot live any other way.

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