The sweep of the second-hand, the minute hand is constant, each moment as long as the last, none longer, none shorter and yet I know that Einstein was right in noting that things unpleasant take forever, while all that is joyful passes quickly even when the elapsed time is the same. What Albert didn’t say is that the unpleasant leads us to look for the future, keeping us locked longer in the present moment. That which is pleasant keeps us present and the future seems to come too quickly, the pleasure slipping away. It is, in the end, merely perception and I prefer to remain in the present for it is all that I have, and all that I choose to make it.
The man liked to cry out into the night, asking questions for which he knew there could be no answers, or if there were, they would be things he would never wish to hear. The coyotes in the hills would listen to his pleas, his entreaties, his moaning, and they would remember the spirits of the old ones gone, and yet back in their now-animal forms. One night a trickster sat on the mesa, and when the man began his questions, the trickster, orange eyes aflame spoke clearly, loudly, telling the man that the answer to each of his questions lay within himself, and he need only look there, if he had the courage, which the coyote knew, he lacked.
Each day I am certain something more slips away, forgotten, no longer able to be recalled, lost in the vast abyss of yesterdays. I would like to think this happens because something new, something better has taken its place, and I had no choice but to displace it. That is the convenient story I tell myself, although I am rarely convinced, and know that there is a good chance it is no more than a lie of sorts, but one that will slip away and be replaced by something better, or perhaps I will just forget that it was a lie in the first place.
Now then, he says, and at once he is again victim of the confusion that he spreads in his wake. She takes him to task again, but he protests that what was now is clearly then, now, and this now, too, is now then, for each now is gone in the time it takes to recognize it as now. Now is always then, he says, as he quickly walks off in each of the ten directions.
He has just returned from the land of Others, where he expected to see all manner of things that would, could never happened to him. He thought he would be able to explain why this was, but now those things are happening to him. He suspects it is because he came to close to the land of Those People, and he is certain are the cause of all the trouble in his carefully constructed world. It is why, he says, he never wanted anything to do with them.
He wasn’t sure he wanted it, was fairly certain he did not, and in that moment,was certain he would get it, so he began developing elaborate plans on what to do with it when it arrived. He laid them out in painful detail, each step, each move carefully choreographed. He waited patiently, each minute washing into the next until it was hours, then days, then months. He reassessed his plans for it, fine tuned them daily. He grew older, until one day he could no longer remember what it was, and moments later it arrived, and there it sat unseen and unrecognized.