Now and Now and Now




And so you have a life that you are living only now,
now and now and now,
gone before you can speak of it,
and you must be thankful for living day by day,
moment by moment …
a life in the breath and pulse and living light of the present…

~Wendell Berry


My days are filled with anxious people, one after another after another.  They sit at the edge of their seat, struggling to hold back the flood from brimming eyes, fingers gripping the arms of the chair, legs jiggling.   Each moment, each breath, each rapid heart beat overwhelmed by panic-filled questions:  will there be another breath?  must there be another breath?   Must this life go on like this in fear of what the next moment will bring?

The only thing more frightening than the unknown is the knowledge that the next moment will be just like the last.  There is a serious gratitude deficiency going on here, a lack of recognition of a moment just passed that can never be retrieved and relived.   There is only fear of the next and the next so that the now and now and now is lost forever.

Their worry and angst is contagious as the flu.
I mask up and wash my hands of it throughout the day.
I wish a simple vaccination could protect us all from unnamed fears.

I want to say to them and myself:
Stop.  Stop this.  Stop this moment in time. Stop and stop and stop.
Stop expecting some one, some thing or some drug must fix this feeling.
Stop being blind and deaf to the gift of each breath.
Just stop.
And simply be.

I want to say:
this moment is ours,
this moment of weeping and sharing
and breath and pulse and light.
Shout for joy in it.
Celebrate it.
Be thankful for tears that can flow over grateful lips
and stop holding them back.

Stop me before I write,
out of my own anxiety,
yet another prescription
you don’t really need.

Just be–
and be blessed–
in the now and now and now.



10 thoughts on “Now and Now and Now

  1. I can’t begin to tell you how much this reminds me of a poem titled “Slow Me Down, Lord” my grandmother wrote in her early nineties! She was an RN and, well before there was such a designation–a nurse anesthetist, who became Chief OR Nurse at Pennsylvania Hospital. Earlier in her career, she worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital and drove their Model-T ambulance to NYC to meet the Carpathia, coming into port with survivors from the Titanic
    in April of 1912. But I heard about this, and discovered the poem only after her death at age ninety-nine. In other words, she “stuffed the floorboards.” Much to my regret


  2. struck a cord in me. I want to keep myself positioned in a frame of mind that is thankful regardless what today holds. I think it takes intention and practice, pulling the mind off the what if, the when, the how etc. and putting it squarely on the one who holds our life in His hands.


  3. She was quite a gal, Emily. Orphaned at 14, rode a horse to her first job at Hazleton Miners’ Hospital, and more, much more. The thing is, she rarely shared any of this with us, and I find myself wishing she would have at least written about it. But she always busy–making the best sugar cookies in the county if nothing else– and never took the time to do so. Perhaps she thought it was somehow inappropriate, when really it’s quite the opposite.


  4. “Their worry and angst is contagious as the flu.” Isn’t that the truth! It turns us into bottom feeders when we should be feeding from the Top.


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