looking through me

Tag: presence


There’s a low-grade hum pulsing through me. It’s the murmur of expectation and the suppressing shush shifting my focus from the possible back to the present. Because what may be is not what is.

Yet I strain against the second hand. There is so much simmering—I want to watch the pot. I want to guess when it might boil. I want to plan for all the potential bubbling up. But it’s not time. It might simmer for days or weeks . . . it might not boil at all.

Waiting is hard. Being present to what is—instead of being caught up in what might be—is hard.

The pull of possibility is strong, so I keep tugging my attention from the tension of waiting to the nimbly passing now. Where am I this moment? What lesson can I learn here? What grace is unfolding around me? How can I be useful in this reality, not the one that may or may not be coming?

I want to live well. I want to look back at my day, my year, my life and see that I lived each moment fully. I don’t want to see the present slip by while I wait for the future.

Still, I’m tempted to let my eyes linger on the pot. I’m tempted to compose a melody to resolve the static hum of anxiety.

The water may not boil. But this moment—right here, right now—is mine.


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carpool lane debris

The seconds and minutes pass by at such a speed I miss most of them. A few noteworthy ones jump out, but most are behind me before I knew they were before me.

That’s life.

This morning an accident occurred miles ahead of me. I sat in one of the thousands of cars stuck in its wake. And as I inched along a stretch of freeway in single-digit miles per hour, I noticed the things I race by every other day.

Along the center median I saw a man’s dress shirt: white with blue stripes. How did a dress shirt come to rest on the freeway? Did it fly out a window? Or did paramedics cut it off someone at the scene of an accident?

For several miles I inventoried all the debris along the center divider. There must have been a story behind each blown out tire tread, hubcap and car bumper; but those were far less intriguing than the lid to the 52-quart Igloo cooler, the pillow or the shovel handle and thirty feet later the shovel blade . . . for a snow shovel. The six-foot metal pipe and the splintered two by fours seemed less out of place than the orange hard hat that was missing a quarter of its left side. And the foam insert for a microphone case and the cargo shorts—doesn’t someone need those?

As I noticed each item left behind—whether intentionally or accidentally—I wondered what I leave in my aftermath.

What stories are attached to the moments trailing behind me, the ones I rush past without a second thought day after day after day?

Sometimes I need an event out of my control to slow me down and give me space to notice the narrative I’m writing with my life.


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