The rampant adage, “Focus on the here and now!“, may at first appear merely to isolate the present from the past and the future. I am not convinced it is quite that simple. I believe the admonition goes far beyond the obvious implication that we can only truly know the present. Without engendering a trite high school argument to the debate, the reprimand to stick to the present does not diminish the sweet texture of the past and the tantalizing seduction of the future howsoever we reignite them either in our memory or in our mind’s eye. I discovered today that “Living the dream!” is neither an assessment of the past nor a fantasy of the future; it is instead nothing more complicated than the road directly in front of you. And you can be guaranteed that following that particular path will be the same fleeting journey you’d take by any other design.
Imagining that each one of us is embedded with the blueprint of irrepressible direction is naturally absurd. Yet the most distilled rendition of the present is an incomparable miracle! The point is that what awaits each of us is unpredictable yet often the experience of genius.
The flip side of foreseeable is unforeseeable. Though we all know it is true, few of us choose to dwell at any length upon the random misery which affects people of every stripe and description. There is nothing to insulate oneself from haphazard disaster – again of every description and consequence. In the result the only deduction applicable to the present is that its strength depends not on what was done in the past or on what may transpire in the future. Nor should we dilute the present to go beyond our memory or imagination. Looking down the road is far better than ignoring the trip and contemplating fabrications while getting to one’s destination.
It expedites my ambition to recall that by common appraisal my longevity is under critical scrutiny. This purifies my thoughts and stimulates my ambitions to dwell enthusiastically – and I may say, exclusively – upon the current state of affairs; viz., the present. Bottom line: I’m lucky to have made it thus far! Just because it’s the present doesn’t mean it necessitates abandonment of the same inspirational ingredients one employs when ruminating upon the past or the future; that is, seeing the sparkle and feeling the allure of the present is certainly within the compass of contemplation! And then there’s always that tell-tale axiom about the past, present and future; namely, that they’re all the same! Personally I hesitate to defeat even a poetic distinction between the measures of time; that is, without belittling one or the other I have always maintained that the present is more authentic than any alternative.
This seemingly innocuous observation nonetheless hides the unwritten threat to the past and the future – that they essentially pale in comparison to the present. Thinking about what was or what might have been amounts to a wasteful undertaking at best; and it may also qualify as a hurtful attack upon either. Once again, roll the dice anyway you want, the present is where it’s at!