Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015.03.22 Not Being In the Now—Now

I don’t know about you, but my mind is NOT in the NOW, now. I know they say this is a good idea, and that the NOW is all we have, NOW. But, with respect to Now-ism, I’m bowing out, for NOW. 

This is happening to me because I gazed out my window yesterday, and I saw......... what? SNOW.  NOW.  It has been a winter of WAY too much snow, even for one who loves its brightness and glimmer. The first snow when I was a child was always a spiritual event. UP went my spirits; OUT into the cold I’d bound. At least you can play in snow. Rain only soaks fun.

In the Christian church, it’s still Lent, a somber, sober, deep purple season. Lent is  a time for reflection and, for Christians, moving through the life of Jesus on the way to his death. Usually I like Lent. I tire of too much jump-for-joy glory. But not NOW.

I wanted out of Lent and into Easter, the happy season, life on the rise. I wanted to move out of the polar zone and into spring. NOW.

So I did.

Instead of covering myself with clichés about the power of now, I stared out at the dirty and impure remainders of snow. I kept looking until I saw shimmers of white, glints and gleanings of Easter—right NOW, in Lent. I was training my eyes to gaze, rather than avert or slam shut. (Gazing isn’t simply me being Curious-George-delusional; it’s a prayer practice common to contemplative traditions.)

Gazing, aka relentless staring, is probably how I came to pick up a book of poems, The Many Singings, by Antoinette Voûte Roeder, a Canadian poet. Roeder's poetry connects to life— in all its realness, and in all its unrealness—NOW. 

Thoughts About Snow and Art

The sky has forgotten
what blue is.
The ground
only knows snow.

In between
a fine mesh screen
of swirling crystals
day after day.

It is like a painting
by Seurat, the only difference
being his brushes were wands
of light, his palette a plethora
of color.