Quietness of the Quarantine Prompts Reflections
Lulled By Life
- Sun Rises, Sun Sets
- Breath In, Breath Out
- Steady rhythmic heart beat
- Don’t be deceived by the regularity
- All things change, albeit at a glacial rate
- Paycheck to paycheck
- Bills to pay, every 30 day.
- When will it stop, nobody know
- Aches and pains creep up, still got to keep up
- Crisis flares up but life’s routine returns
- Memory’s fade, sharp edges soften
- Birthdays come and go, school alumni I no longer know
- When was the last new thing, big thing, original thought, sea change, paradigm shift?
- Will this steady state go on in perpetuity? Might that be the definition of hell
- If so, then what is heaven? Might that be “the next big thing?”
- The present is fine but it’s what’s next that really counts.
- Are you next in line?
- What are you going to do next?
- What are you going to be next?
- Where are you going next?
- It’s the source of our anxiety.
- The next doctors visit, dentist’s visit
- The next draft notice (back when there was a draft, if there is another draft)
- The next bill, the next school, the next job, the unknown
- The teacher, the coach who call us next to answer or perform
- Our creator who says “next”.
- It’s our source of joy. Our hope. Our anticipation
From the moment of our birth and our first breath, life is essentially a series of NEXT’s. Breath to breath, heart beat to heart beat, emotion to emotion, person to person, goal to goal and challenge to challenge. We live in the present but our subconscious focuses on what’s next.
Maybe that’s why life’s most enjoyable moments are when we are thoroughly immersed in the present with no concern for what’s next.
Which leads to the question of life’s ultimate mystery. So what’s next when this life as we know it is no more? As youngsters, we were taught that there is a heaven to reward the good and a hell to punish the bad.
With the passage of time, experience and natural curiosity, we develop various scenarios of what might be next.
If there is no next…..
Is life in the present more important and more fulfilling? Or might it just be meaningless? What keeps us from misbehaving if there are no consequences in the next life? Can there ever be true justice for unfairness and atrocity experienced in the present if there is no next?
Is the concept of an afterlife a construct of the human imagination to compensate for these unsettling questions? Does the very nature of our present existence cry out for some sort of NEXT?
The sneakiest, most insidious word on the English language.
The ultimate thief of time, negotiator, procrastinator.
Someday is the deceiver that implies we have more time. Tomorrow I will be more ready, more confident.
Someday and its cousin “somehow” sooth us with the notion that somehow my problems will go away someday.
Somehow and someday team up for a knock out punch of inaction and inertia.
Somehow and someday are the two pillars of a house in a fools paradise.
Why do today, what you can do tomorrow?
Somehow and someday can not stand up against the march of time. Change is inevitable whether we like it or not and whether we are prepared or not.
So let’s all take this Pandemic Pause to…..
Reflect on the past, appreciate the present and prepare for the future.