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 from Hannah Coulter
~Lustravit lampade terras~
(He has illumined the world with a lamp)
The weather and my mood have little connection.
I have my foggy and my fine days within me;
my prosperity or misfortune has little to do with the matter.
– Blaise Pascal from “Miscellaneous Writings”
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand,
~Francis Thompson from “The Hound of Heaven”
My days are filled with anxious and sad patients, 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. Each moment, each breath, each heart beat overwhelmed by questions: will there be another breath? must there be another breath? Must 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 or perhaps worse. There is no 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.
Worry and sorrow and angst are contagious as the flu.
I mask up and wash my hands of it throughout the day.
I wish we could be vaccinated to protect us all from these unnamed fears.
I want to say to them and myself:
Stop this moment in time. Stop and stop and stop.
Stop expecting someone or some thing must fix this feeling.
Stop wanting to be numb to all discomfort.
Stop resenting the gift of each breath.
Instead, simply be.
I want to say:
this moment, foggy or fine, is yours alone,
this moment of weeping and sharing
and breath and pulse and light.
Shout for joy in 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.
and be blessed–
in the now and now and now.