Sunday, February 9, 2020

Not Even Not Zen 198: Present Illusion

The Present Illusion

Your voice rings across the water.
Your face, in this precise moment, is hidden.
But it has a hint of an open-mouthed smile
because I can hear it on your lips.
A strand of raven hair has fallen.
You are brushing it away
at this point in time, separated from me,
not quite in the same moment.

Fools say that the past is an illusion caused
by our brains putting sensory inputs in order.
Our inner selves struggle.
They flail and decide wrongly
in the attempt to assemble a puzzle
of a picture partly drawn.
Those fools are right.

Others say that the future is a creation.
It's our ability to throw a rock,
catch a ball, tie a string, cut with a knife,
to project forward to the consequences of our actions.
Shouldn't I have known your next words?
Shouldn't I have reached to your stray strands of hair?
We are so good with futures one second away,
so wavering as we reach farther,
as I am stretching to you.

I have been to the future.
I can say they are right.
We create alternatives, some of them impossible,
like our hands touching across the hundreds of miles,
you in the distant snowfall,
walking, shoes crunching on dry snow,
me by a riverbank, drenched in the rain,
both of us looking to something that exists
in our shared imagination.

In this moment, you and I, our voices touching
our fingers reaching through the air,
me in the right direction, by the way,
while you are angled wrong, your sense of direction
taking you a bit to the northeast.
Please turn just slightly
and tell me you are coming home.

Soon the future will be the present
and we will not be quite in it, either,
only a mile away,
only a riverbank apart,
only an arm's length.
The present moment too, is an illusion,
a creation that doesn't quite exist, an artifact of our minds.

So what?
Now is the moment.
I am approaching a woman
with dark hair and knowing grin.
Her arms spread wide
as if she is presenting herself,
a gift to the world.
My hand opens.

You are approaching a man
as he opens and lifts his left hand.
A smile begins to narrow his eyes.
His mouth drops open without a word.
This.  This is as close as humans come
to being present together
in the same moment.
Now, please.  Come to this moment
with me I am so ready.

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