Being in the now is a thing. We’re getting older, so now is what we’ve got. The past is gone, the future uncertain. La di da. Yada yada. Except no matter what, now is all anyone ever has. A memory of the past is not the same as having that time. A memory is a memory. Time is today. Now. Immediately.
The future is never a certainty for anyone. Anywhere.
So. Let’s look at life in the real now, not during one of those infrequent special Hallmark moments. Take yesterday, a typically now-ish day.
We got up. Drank coffee. Answered email and commented on this site. Garry checked in with Facebook. I updated Farm Town. We petted dogs and didn’t give them nearly enough biscuits — in their opinion.
Then we went out, picked up a couple of prescriptions and a few grocery items. I took some pictures. Nothing earthshaking, but the earth doesn’t shake here. Whatever downtown looked like yesterday, it won’t be a whole lot different today unless it’s winter and we get a foot or two of snow overnight. Otherwise, things evolve slowly.
I discovered the battery in my camera was dead. Again. I think (maybe) I’ve got a bad one. I need to mark it so I can tell which one it is (I have four and they look identical). I’ll give it one more chance to prove its value before to the bin it goes.
Next, I decided to buy a bucket of chrysanthemums (yellow), the fuchsias having passed on to the big nursery in the sky. Then we went home. I sorted mail, dumped all but one magazine into the trash. Bills come electronically, so most paper mail is advertising or what we consumers refer to as “junk.” I don’t even take it inside, but toss it into the bins by the garage.
Only when I got upstairs and my computer refused to boot did awareness of the now go to yellow alert. I spent a joyless hour trying to figure out why it wouldn’t boot. With no satisfactory answer. Which reminded me I should invest some time taking care of Garry’s machine.
All the excitement was followed by … what? I read a book. Garry read the newspaper. We both watched MidSomer Murders. I processed a few pictures. We ate dinner. Dogs came, dogs went.
I’m sure we were in the now because there really isn’t anywhere else to be. If we aren’t in the now, where are we exactly? If there’s a parallel universe, I wish it would open a wormhole for me. I’ve been looking for it for many years. If anyone deserves a trip to another dimension, I certainly do.
Special, defining memorable moments are not ordinary, daily events. If they were, they would cease being special or defining. One of the signifiers of specialness is that it’s extraordinary. I know it’s fashionable to talk about the now as if it every moment is so wonderful we dare not miss a single second. But no one could live in a constant state of hyper-awareness. We’d burn out.
Did our trip to CVS merit a special page on our scrapbook of life? I kind of doubt it.
Finally, I actually have an opinion on this — which is (tada): There is nothing wrong with uneventfulness. A flow of days, even years with no crises, drama, or momentous peaks and valleys. It’s called contentment and it’s the state for which I have long yearned.
Add a few lovely vacations and memorable events to highlight the passage of time and it becomes perfection.