Posts Tagged ‘now’

 I wish I could put into words what I have learnt over this past year – I know I can’t but I know I’m going to do my best at an approximation anyway.

I’ve learnt that I don’t have to become somebody – I already am.

I’ve learnt that I don’t have to be something great.

I’ve learnt that grand plans are sometimes more fun in the planning than in the execution.

I’ve learnt that sometimes we make grand plans thinking that we’ll be someone else in the execution of them – that person we really wish we were. I’ve learnt that when it comes time to put them into place, we realise we’re still just who we are and always will be.

I’ve learnt that maybe the real challenge is not to change ourselves and become something more, something else, but to recognise and accept ourselves, and be more of who we actually are.

I’ve learnt that life exists more in the small daily moments than in the grand achievements we seem to get so caught up in striving towards.

I’ve learnt that, even after the achievement, even during, life will still just exist moment to moment. The future, the dream, the fantasy, will never come. You are always right here, right now.

I have learnt, not just to live in the moment, but to love it. The smallest, most simple moments are the most beautiful. This is what life boils down to. Now.

I have learnt that the stories we tell ourselves are just that – stories. Stories about our past, about ourselves, about the people around us. If we don’t like our stories, we can just choose to tell a different one.

I have learnt that the only constant in life is that nothing is constant, everything is temporary, change is our constant companion. I have learnt the liberation and beauty of that. I have learned to use that to love each moment even more for the beauty of what it is, rather than wasting it by trying to hold onto it. You can’t. So just let it go, be in it, and love it.

I have learnt to see beauty when I look in the mirror. I have learnt to see someone worth spending time with in my interactions with other people. I have learnt that I am what I am and that’s ok.

I have learnt to love life for life’s sake – for the adventure, for the experience – without expecting it to give anything to me. I have learnt to play with life.

I have learnt – and I continue to learn – and that means that I am alive. I have learnt to love that.

I guess the curriculum for 2009 will be revealed to me as we go, and I’ve learnt to accept that. But right now, in this moment, I’m going to learn again the beauty of hot black tea against my tongue and the blue ocean and cacophony of busy buildings that is Wellington harbour against my retina. And smile a smile that requires no lips.

Here’s to the next round of the game my friends, the next year in this playground/classroom of life.

Learn from the game, but don’t forget to play with the lessons.

And be present. To everything you have and everything you are. Right now.


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Have you ever seen a spider spinning it’s web?  I mean, I know you’ve seen spiders, and you’ve seen webs, but have you actually been present in the moment of its spinning, actually watched a spider in the act?

Sitting on the loo last night, I happened to glance over at our resident toilet-spider (and quite a large and beautiful one she is too) and noticed she was making some weird rhythmical motion with her little bum-pincers.  I wonder what that’s about, I thought, and peering closer I noticed an amazing little dance going on.  She had two vertical strings of web on which she was sitting.  She would sit there on one side, wiggling her pincer things for a little bit, pulling the silken strands out with her back limbs.  Then she would move over to the other side and attach it to the vertical strand.  Then she would do the same thing where she was and move again opposite, creating a little zig-zig of delicate cobweb, like a tiny zig-zag ladder.

I think it was one of the most simple yet amazing things I have ever seen.

Life is so full of these small moments of beauty.  They seem to be coming to my awareness more and more lately.  The other day, I was walking into town past the waterfront – it was about 9am on a glorious Friday morning.  You know how they say ‘you can’t beat Wellington on a good day’?  Well, this was an amazing day, simply stunning, when the whole air is just vibrant with aliveness, like it wouldn’t be surprising if the sea and the air and the ground started breathing.  It was one of those days when you feel like life is smiling at you.  Not just at you.  In you.

The warm morning sunlight was positively glistening off the bluest blanket of crystal sea as I walked past Te Papa, and as I glanced out I noticed something in the water – there were dolphins in the harbour!  A whole pod of them, leaping and dancing and diving through the water, the sunlight twinkling off their obsidian backs and smooth, silky fins.  They were right up next to Te Papa, and all along the waterfront people on their way to work had stopped to marvel in this moment of simple joy and pure beauty.  The sun was warm and soft on my face and brilliant in the sky, the sea was smooth and turquoise green, broken only by the tiny white crests of minature waves and the cavorting play of this family of dolphins, come to visit us for this perfect little instant of time.  And yet they were oblivious to us, caught up in their simple celebration of life and utter playful revelry in this gorgeous morning moment. 

I thought I might actually cry.  It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

I felt as if the universe had not just winked at me, but placed both hands on my face and given me a huge big smooch on the lips.

Later on, as I walked back the same way, the dolphins had gone – replaced by the kayaks and jet-skis and people throwing their half-naked bodies into the ocean.  But I didn’t feel sad or regretful, as if these pesky humans had chased away those pure and playful creatures.  Rather I saw how we were all playful creatures, emerging into an incredibly stunning day to celebrate the gorgeousness of it and the simple pleasure of being alive when the sun is shining and the sea is warm and there is no other moment than the beautiful one right now.  I saw not that we had chased away the dolphins, but rather joined them in their play, their gay abandon, their simple joy.  We were all life’s creatures, reveling in the glory of life.

Funnily enough, I ‘just happened’ that day to get the perfect job in a place I had never expected to find it.  It was one of those situations in which everything seemed to just slot perfectly into place in some smooth flow that just sweeps you along with it.

I wished there was some way of kissing the universe back.

The more present I become to the moment, the more I am able to disregard those moments past and the ones that may possibly come, and just live for the moment I am in, and the more I see how much incredible, simple beauty is inherent in life.  The greatest joys are not the huge successes, the grand acheivements, awards, accolades, kudos.  The greatest joys for me are those moments when I feel like life itself is smiling at me through some small piece of its perfection.

It really doesn’t matter what happened in the moments before this one, and it really doesn’t matter what may happen in the ones that follow, if in this moment I am present to a pod of dolphins revelling in a sunny day, or a tiny spider spinning a perfect web, or the way the wind bends the trees outside my window.  That is happiness.  Meaningful happiness, I think, is not attained through toil and struggle and grand conquest.  Happiness is already present in every moment.  You just have to learn how to see it. 

To see a world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.

~ William Blake

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