This moment.

April 26, 2020 § 8 Comments

I take nothing for granted these days. I make no easy assumptions. I have no expectations beyond this moment.

This makes disappointment less likely and, strangely, it makes the small things: modest tasks accomplished, the beauty of the non-human life around me, the throaty voice of my guitar, the unexpected message from a friend, feel like gifts—if I don’t expect, anticipate, or feel deserving-of, when the good happens, gratitude washes over me.

This flood of gratitude, far rarer when I believed I controlled my destiny, is a reaction I hope I don’t lose when the panic passes.

The downside is that I don’t dare to hope or let myself look ahead and plan—what if the current darkness catches me nurturing that glimmer and snuffs it out?

Without hope or plan, I hold on tight to right-now, the future a bridge too rickety to walk across.

I clutch this moment hard, doing one thing, then the next. I call a friend, stir the spaghetti sauce on the stove, sit on my front stoop and gaze into the yard, I cross a small and finite task off my small and finite list, and I keep going.

Yes, I keep going.

I haven’t given up. I hold a pen and write my daily pages, realizing that if nothing else, I am a witness, one of many court stenographers recording the unfolding and overwhelming case being made by the pandemic.

Although what I am recording has changed since “normal” took a hike, I have always been a writer, a journal-keeper. By doing the things I have always done I prove to myself that I am still me.

And so I write.

I make music.

 I weed the garden.

I reach out to others, although I can no longer hug them, or get close enough to breathe the same air.

I study the buzz and hum of the natural world.

And I think.

I am still here, acknowledging—and experiencing perhaps for the first time—this moment.

I would love to regain the luxury of planning, the comfort of believing in a long, long future, but this moment is all I have, and I now realize, it is all I’ve ever had. And it is enough.

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§ 8 Responses to This moment.

  • Linda Wright says:

    Planning is a privilege so many have come to rely upon that when it is no longer an option, people feel cursed rather than blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As with so many things, there are a variety of ways to view a situation. I try to find the good in whatever happens. In one sense this is delusional, in another it is practical. Right now we have a wealth of broken eggs; our best bet is to make an omelet.


  • craig reeder says:

    what a profound last 2 sentences. your writing shines a light on what is truly important in life, and gives great credit to the name of your blog, “slow dance journal.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • cronkitesue says:

    Uplifting and hopeful. I miss getting out and telling my stories about how it used to be back when. Now I HAVE to write them down, hoping someday someone will want to read them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jan Annino says:

    Hi dear Adrian,
    I love you & this musing, on how small we are in the uni-verse.
    Your idea that writers always writer, singers always sing, gardeners always garden, is spot-on.
    A positiive new norm is that not so many polluters – such as I who drive a car or fly in an airplane – pollute, now. Not so many car hijackers, car-hijack.
    I cheer the great good statistics about waters clearing, mountaintops being seen for the first time in a long time, simply because we keep close to our long-loved, but often rushed-away from, nests.
    There is an old Quaker (I think, you would know) song about simplicity that’s trying to come wafting up thru my neurons, that I’ll go look up now, but your columns brings it to mind.
    happy slow weekend to you & ray
    from jan & paolo

    ps green report: we have cornered the market on fresh big pot mint!


    • Oh Jan, I miss sitting at your dining room table, sharing our stories–and I wouldn’t pollute too much getting there! You and Paolo stay safe and drink plenty of tea with fresh mint.


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