Friday, November 12, 2021

A Moment or Two to Just Be

"While I sit here, I don’t beg to be somewhere else; I’m not pulled away by the future or by the past. I sit here, and know where I am. This is very important. We tend to be alive in the future, not now. We say, ‘Wait until I finish school and get my PhD; then I’ll really be living.’ Once we have it – and it wasn’t easy to get – we say to ourselves, ‘I have to wait until I have a job for my life to really begin.’ Then after the job a car, and after a car a house. We aren’t capable of being alive in the present moment. We tend to postpone being alive to the future, the distant future, we don’t know when. It’s as if now is not the moment to be alive. We may never be alive at all in our entire life. The only moment to be alive is in the present moment."

- Thich Nhat Hanh (1926 - )

Postscript. The picture above was captured not with my "real" camera but with my iPhone, whose ability to capture scenes such as this continues to impress. I was on a short "day job" related trip to the beautiful town of Newport, RI, and had a few precious moments of magic hour light at the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge (just a few miles from the center of town). I was initially despondent over having not taken my real camera (and rationalized the "complexities" of mixing business with pleasure; what, with a laptop and pounds of technical notes already stuffed into my carry-on). I then got even more melancholy over having neglected to take my other "real" camera that I bought specifically for this purpose (an absurdly tiny but equally as absurdly capable digital camera I wrote about earlier this spring). But then I remembered Thich Nhat Hanh's sage advice (quoted above). Stilling my mind as best I could, and clutching my iPhone, I managed to find a moment or two to just be

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