Monday, December 28, 2009

"You mean, right now?"

Past and future are in the mind only - I am now. ~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
(via Lori Moreno)

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. ~Eckhart Tolle
(via Lori Moreno)

Someone once asked Yogi Berra what time it was. "You mean right now?" he answered. (Source unknown)

I was with a school friend and neither of us had seen the other in more than 20 years. I could see changes in both of us - he not so rough-edged, I a little more relaxed. ("After changes upon changes we are more or less the same." Paul Simon, The Boxer.) I don't know what he thought and maybe I won't know. But what impressed me was how gentle and engaged he and his wife were with their son, how relaxed they seemed with him, how much they loved and enjoyed him and yet how clear they were with him on what was appropriate. I contrasted that to my own behavior when my kids were young and how rigid and angry and fearful I was so much of the time. That was the way I was then, that was my makeup.

I didn't feel a great need to reminisce with my friend. I remember those days and how much time I spent at his house and imposed on his hospitality, mostly because I didn't know how to drive a car and didn't make decisions but waited for him to do so. However, today, I was interested in what his life is like now, for instance that he writes for several English-language publications in Japan, that it takes sometimes fifteen hours to fly from Tokyo to here for the three of them, that he plays in a rock band for fun. And at one moment it struck me how little time I may be in another's presence, that at other times I think of the other in my head or look at a picture and that actually being in the other's presence, the living, breathing man sitting next to me and talking with me, what a rarity in life that is, and how true that is with others I know and my encounters with them. Presence is fleeting but how powerful it is when we experience each other's breath and being.

I don't know when I'll see my friend again, but I can write him and maybe visit him, check in on his parents. We don't owe each other anything, but I can be generous and maybe we will have something, another now.

No comments:

Post a Comment