Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In passing

I was thinking about my daily walks, how they are short in physical distance, yet limitless, and how they are brief in duration, yet timeless until my return. When I am out, in other words, I am out forever. And when I am away, the scenery I pass through is here, and, in the same breath, everywhere. But what about the rest of the day? Well, it is much the same. An appointment at a certain time is simply that. I acknowledge the need and make sure I get there, but there is no urgency in the matter. If I’m helping by preparing a meal, I start the work soon enough that the food will be ready when it should be ready. But the work itself is beyond all that. I am not anxious for it to be done. I chop garlic and peel onions and potatoes not for an hour, but forever. And while I am so engaged, I am absorbed to the point that I scarcely exist, even as I am careful not to slice my finger. Now, granted, it’s a little difficult, or clumsy, to express such things. What I am suggesting, perhaps, is that in life there is something we might call a soul’s pace or spirit’s pace, and the more we are aware of it the better we understand that happiness isn’t a matter of effort, it’s a matter of being present. And we can’t be present if we are caught up in the constant judgment and evaluation of ourselves, of others, and our surroundings, all measured against our notions of what “should be.” In any given moment, there is simply no better place to be than exactly where we are, just as there is no better work than the present task, done with love. It is the very peace we yearn for, and so much more, without the chains we forged, and proudly wore.

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