Joyfully Using IT
The Precious Now
Ribbons of time
From infinity’s spool,
And loop and heap
On the floor of space,
And though we sleep
And weep -
And dream of life,
We fail to use it up,
This fleeting ribbon
___© Nellieanna Hay
The Nature Of Now
Precious NOW moments cannot be stored and carried forward like cell-phone minutes if one is fortunate to have a contract which allows that. The moments pass into oblivion, at least as far as this life goes.
On the other hand, their contract does provide a continuous stream of what seem to be consecutive moments – for as long as the contract is set to last. That’s the tricky part: - we never really know how long that will be or when we'll suddenly realize they've run out. But we do know the one we have at the moment and that it’s our choice how to spend it.
There’s hardly a noticeable break from one moment to the next. They seem to be such an unbroken continuum, that sometimes we become blasé about using them as they are – moment to moment. when they are so real that they pass by with little notice and awareness.
Somehow we come to expect some more distant moments to be more significant and worthwhile, since we’ve become oblivious to and therefore unimpressed with the reality of present time. We can easily acquire and cling to an illusion of eventually arriving at something we consider 'the future', which may begin to seem more real and desirable than the present moment which is not being fully realized and consciously lived. It may seem humdrum in fact.
It's a bit difficult to understand why it doesn't occur to us that THIS is IT and the only time and place we can be actively living as fully as possible.
The truth is that enriched conscious moments fully lived NOW are what give life value and fill it to overflowing!
The difficult fact to internalize is: - the future is non-existent!! Non-existent!!
Use it or lose it!
Each moment we live is always the eternal present, the precious, authentic now. That’s breathtaking!
But. . . .
"But", you may be thinking, "if present moments, even being as brief as they are and rushing by as fast as they do, are the reality and essence of life, and if they’re not mere stepping stones to a future you say is non-existent but is what I’m working toward in hopes of a better, more real 'someday', then how on earth can I claim and enjoy this fleeting present moment for its own sake without risking loss of my future'? Surely the future will last longer and I’ll be better able to capture all the good things I’m working toward now. So surely I need to be tirelessly working and planning for all that now!! Isn’t that the more practical?"
But you see, it's not a matter of either/or choice! It's simple truth. This really is IT. That’s practical.
As I let go of anxiety about tomorrow and embrace and cherish the present now, I'm more fully able to fulfill my life's contract as I go along its path! There are no “loose ends” dangling. That’s practical.
Whatever it is we are doing can be fulfilling and can be in progress and it IS the best it can BE as it exists. That’s practical.
Being fully alive NOW costs nothing but gains everything which LIFE IS. That’s practical.
Living fully in this point in time is to be fully alive. It is what nourishes the heart, spirit, mind and body.
My husband used to tell of a poor old fellow he met fishing off a levee in the South, who said, "Ah appreciates everything ah’s got."
There is a real lesson there. Poor or rich, young or old, married or single, in sickness or in health - being happy with what one's "got"right now is to BE happy. Happy is a characteristic of being alive. It's not some prize in the future. There are no other times or conditions in which to BE happy except now. Whether the present brings better or worse, it is the only time one can claim for happiness to exist. And things do not determine it.
A Little True Story
When I was in my early teens and my family subscribed to many magazines, among them Time and Life, we’d all try to get them out of the mailbox first. Either Mother or Dad would try to lay first claim to the newly arrived issues. Each of them had their own place to cache their quarry. Both were their drawers in the old sideboard. Dad’s was neat as a pin, while Mother’s was what looked like a disorganized mess. But each knew the contents of his or her own private drawer and woe to anyone who ransacked it!
Everyone also had our favorite sections of the weekly periodicals to open first. Everyone enjoyed the cartoons randomly scattered throughout the magazines. Saturday Evening Post and Collier's had the best cartoons. though I'm sure the news magazines had good political cartoons if one were into that sort of thing.
Mother always went for the People and Art sections of the weekly periodicals first. Dad always went for the Business and News sections first. He was more partial to Time, she to Life. Each of those magazines addressed news, businss, art and people; however each did so slighgtly differently.
When I would finally got my turn, I just wanted to read everything cover to cover!
One week Life featured an article in the art section which showed a picture which looked like a photograph of a scene from real life. Upon reading about it, though, I learned that it was a painting! Of course I was amazed and curious how anyone could paint a scene that totally realistically!
Reading on, I found the explanation was that the artist had taken a photo, sized the photo exactly the size of his canvas and gridded both the photo and the canvas into very small squares of exactly the same sizes. Each sqare of the photo contained only a tiny area of the “big picture”. Then he simply proceded to duplicate with paint every detail of each little photographic square onto the corresponding square on his canvas exactly like the real photo's, meticulously duplicating exactly the colors, sizes of everything there. Thinking back - it was before TV or any kind of digitalization, but in principle it was similar.
I remember distinctly thinking how horrible it would be if reality became so indistinguishable from fake that one couldn’t tell the difference! With a more religious perspective then, I thought pehaps that would be what hell really was, to be unable to tell the difference.
That it lelft such a distinct impresson on me that I've recalled it from time to time over the years makes it seem possibly an influence upon my sense of and appreciation for what IS compared to a horror of not knowing for sure the difference between the authentic and a replica.
Apparently some cultures have developed successful ways to let go of clinging to the future and to live in the present. We all can.
What we actively enjoy doing & participating in NOW can progress, blossom and flourish as it flows and as we begin to fathom and embrace the NATURE of life - what, when and where it IS.. Understanding the nature of things gives us their essence.
We can live as productively or as creativity as we prefer while attending to the responsibilities that exist and enjoying the pleasures that are real and available.
It's an enormous freedom to fully live! It's healthy for mind, spirit and body.