In the Moment

Pigeons coo outside my window, somewhere beyond my field of vision. They must be sitting on the roof right above me. Maybe they’re commenting on the heat, which is unpleasant, especially at this hour when the day is beginning to end. Or maybe they’re simply saying goodbye to the sun that’s starting its descent. I think they know that I’m writing about them, though, because they’ve stopped making their throaty, rolling syllables. They’re listening attentively now, wondering what on earth the strange fleshy being is doing, tap-tapping away on the flat black surface full of keys.

The fan is spinning lazily behind me, trying to cool down the air. The back of my tall blue swiveling office-chair cuts me off from the fan’s breeze, and I only feel a slight draft on each of my shoulders in turn as the air spins and turns, hitting the wall on one side and the closet on the other and rebounding toward my body, hunched over with knees drawn up to my chest and arms wrapped around them.

I look down to see if my toe-nails need clipping yet. They don’t. I’m proud of my toes, in the way that one can be secretly proud of things over which one has absolutely no control. My toes just grew the way they are, all straight and even, without the second toe being longer than the first. I certainly didn’t do anything to help them grow this way, so why do I still feel proud of them? I suppose because they’re part of my body, and so meaningful to me.

I haven’t always been able to do this. It’s taken me a long time to teach myself how to concentrate, even if only for a few short minutes, on the here and now and how it feels. Now that I’ve trained myself to be more aware of my surroundings, I try to encourage myself to think about how I feel and what exactly my senses are telling me. It’s extremely calming.

Are you able to be in the moment? Do you need to struggle to notice your surroundings? Do you ever take the time to concentrate on relaxing?

Now

Right now. A moment that doesn’t mean much at all. There aren’t many moments that mean something specific or momentous. But right now I’m feeling. Just feeling something. Listening to the newest album of my very favorite band and savoring every note that goes through the headphones and into my ears. Looking at the little brown and black cardboard notebook in front of me and looking forward to picking up my perfectly-pointed black pen and writing in it, because it says the word “journal” on the front. Feeling the perfect and perfectly strange warm and cold winds flowing through the one open window in my dorm room and feeling that I’m perfectly dressed for both – tank top and long pajama-bottoms.

The music pierces my very core, feels like it’s flowing right into my brain. There is an atmosphere that surrounds me, an unclear one that simply points at a new type of normalcy that I’m not yet used to. The space is still too new for me to feel utterly at home in, but still, my bed in its new sheets and with the new duvet spread on it lies behind me, inviting and warm, a place that feels like my own little den.

There’s absolutely nothing special about this moment. But that’s the point. It’s just now.

Forever Graveyard

In the silence of the night, the spirits emerged.

Some of the spirits were elderly men and women, and they simply sat upon their graves, unmoving. They’d had a lifetime of movement and felt they’d earned their eternal rest. Others, the younger spirits mostly, frisked about, dancing and playing with the shadows and with each other. Ghostly mothers held onto equally ghostly babies, and ghostly fathers held the hands of young and ghostly children. Some families reunited, as they did every night, at one of the picnic tables in a far corner or between the trees amidst the graves. Some old lovers replayed their quarrels and affairs, frowning and smiling accordingly.

All in perfect silence. Someone walking outside the graveyard wall wouldn’t have heard a thing besides the rustle of the leaves in the wind or the scurry of a squirrel across the grass. If someone were to look over the wall, however, things would have been different.

It was very fortunate, the spirits of the graveyard agreed again and again, that there was a wall built around this particular graveyard. It was much too high for anyone to be able to peer in, and it had no easy footholds for a determined climber to take advantage of. The few who had managed to look over – by bringing a ladder, or by standing on someone’s shoulders, say – had been in such shock that they’d either never spoken of what they’d seen or had been carted off to a small padded room somewhere if they had spoken of it.

So the spirits of the graveyard replayed their lives night after night, laughing at the same jokes and dancing the same dances, waiting for something to change. But it never did. They never got bored, though. Their concept of forever was no different than their concept of now.

The only noteworthy events were when new spirits joined the old, and when that happened it was a grand occasion for all. It made even the new spirits forget what a different, what a sad, party was being had for them the next day or the day after that.