Sunday, December 2, 2012

For Just One Moment



Not much is happening out there today. As I pour the bird seed over the feeder I hear only the faint call of bird song. They've probably been wondering where I've been, leaving the feeder almost empty in yesterday's late afternoon, as I sat in a movie theater watching Daniel Day-Lewis become President Lincoln, and wondering why this country has always preferred war over peaceful resolution, has always wanted what others have instead of opening up its eyes to all the possibilities inherent in what we do have: sunshine, wind, and people with good souls and loving hearts. Certainly by now, we must be growing weary of the bodies in the mud and the sand.

I recall a day very near this one in feeling when I was probably thirteen years old. We had not yet moved from our small farm to the house on the lake. It was wash day, which always felt interminable. Lines of sheets and towels spread everywhere. But, in this moment, the last of the laundry was being removed so I stopped to listen more closely to a bird that seemed to be calling my name. As I listened my thoughts drifted to a Beatles song, "Nowhere Man," and I began to sing it softly to myself. I have no idea why that moment remains etched in my memory but there it is, as though it just happened.

Down in the hollow, on this morning, everything is still, and then a bird calls, loudly and persistently, to remind me that there is more happening in the world than I could ever see or hear, like the ice thawing and dripping from the edge of the cabin's metal roof onto the dead leaves below. As I listen, I sense the presence of the two little raccoon that spent the summer with me, tucked into the corner of the cabin, leaving me bereft with their passing. But, what if they didn't really leave? What if I dreamed it all out of fear and indecision, out of a learning that must now be unlearned?   What if they're still here but I can't see them?  What if all of life is concealed in the quiet of this moment, the only moment there ever really is?











36 comments:

  1. Powerful first paragraph, Teresa. I'm reading Healing the Heart of Democracy, which has some good insights into who we are in this country.

    I love your quiet landscape.

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    1. I will check into that book. I've become too cynical perhaps, but I'd rather be cynical than blind. :)

      Thanks, Linda.

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  2. The entire feeling of this post is quiet and serene. I wonder too if those I no longer see on this earth are still with me. I think they are. :-)

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  3. Humans have been dedicated to fighting wars since before we were considered human. Or, I should say, men since there is no record of women ever starting a war. I've come to the conclusion that as long as the most aggressive men are considered normal and desirable, they will continue their testosterone-fueled wars and aggression until we are all dead. "Pity the meek, for we shall inherit the earth".

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    1. It seems so, but I cannot stop asking for something else....

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    2. We are killing each other, as a justification to save ourselves.

      Insanity.

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  4. "the only moment there really ever is." True. The moment is all we ever have. -- barbara

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  5. Teresa, you've said a lot here today. But even with all the ground you covered I'm left with a good feeling with your final thoughts in this nice piece of writing-"What if all of life is concealed in the quiet of this moment, the only moment there ever really is?"

    The moment, the one we are just experiencing, is the only moment. That is until the next moment when it begins all over again. Right?

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    1. Well, actually, Wild Bill, I believe there really is only One Moment. We've created a sense of life as linear that no longer feels necessary to me.

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  6. Well, since time is merely a human construct this one moment is all we will ever have. This is beautiful Teresa and I so agree with you.
    Lately, I've been seeing humans in a different sort of light that is hard to explain to most people but anyway kind of like a bunch of nowhere people. I don't mean that cruelly but rather it's like we simply can't expect too much from people as a mass. I think we are all better when separate from the group.
    Ah whatever, this is my favorite post of your's because I feel you really touch on something here. The power of nature to show us the moment perhaps.

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    1. Linda, I understand very much what you are saying. It's difficult to articulate these ideas that we sense, we know on some other level of awareness. The golden thread of connection exists but on a different level of thought, on a level that transcends mere humanness.

      Thank you for these very generous words about this post. It's deeply appreciated. I'm so glad you made the connections I made.

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  7. There are some wonderfully profound observations here Teresa.

    I've been spending a lot of time lately trying to get my head around cosmology, quantum mechanics, biological evolution and theology. The immensity and complexity of it all can be overwhelming--and mind-numbing. Yet underlying it all is the reality that everything is connected and interrelated in fascinating ways. All of life is, I think, present in the reality of every quiet moment.

    And the sense that there is more happening in the world than I could ever see or hear is with me a lot. And one of the lessons of quantum physics seems to be that the act of observing has an effect on that which is observed. In some sense maybe we do just see what we want to see. Maybe we should want to see no more bodies in the mud and sand, for example.

    Thanks for this moving and beautifully-written post.

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    1. Bill, We seem to be asking ourselves the same questions and seeking similar ground, so to speak. These things you've mentioned are exactly where my own thought has been for a while now, and I'm so grateful for your awareness and understanding of this. Yes, I think it's time to no longer see the bodies in the mud and the sand. That's a most excellent place to start.

      Thank, you, Bill.

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  8. Peaceful Sundays, washday Mondays. Excuse me if I still want to rhyme because I just came from Pat's. Don't you love to feed the birds. A large corner of my garage is devoted to birdseed. We have so many Magpies here and they gobble it up as fast as I put it out. Why don't they go out on the hiway and eat road kill, like they're supposed to do.
    Cheers from Manzi

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    1. Feeding and watching the birds outside my kitchen window is one of my favorite ways to spend time when indoors. It 's always entertaining, and you never know what else might show up. I've even had ruffed grouse come around and feed from it. Occasionally a black squirrel shows up and tries to control the ground, but the blue jays usually arrive to show him who's really in charge.

      So good to hear from you, Manzi. I was thinking of you this morning... :)

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  9. Teresa, you are without peer on the internet. Within each post you write, there are sentences so beautiful they make me gasp. Note: I would not say this if it weren't true. Just stunning ...

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    1. Cletis, Your words of encouragement mean so much to me. More than I can say.... :)

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  10. Your posts are always so full of gems. I often wonder why I remember small, seemingly unimportant days/minutes.

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  11. Have you ever explored the distinction between chronos and kairos? English is sometimes an impoverished language. Greek, with different words for clock-time, chronological time, also has room for the "right time", "event-filled" time. We say, "When the time is right, I'll do this or that." That's kairos. Asking "What time does the cake come out of the oven?" is a matter of chronos.

    It's a distinction I find useful and comforting, not to mention intriguing. Sort of like your posts, now that I think about it!

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    1. Hi Linda, Yes, I have explored those distinctions and find them to be useful. I have been exploring beyond even those concepts to a timelessness that actually accepts that any notion of "events" is contained in the eternal Now. No history, not even this morning.... Crazy idea that speaks to me like nothing else has.... I refer to it as simultaneous time, but it even goes beyond that concept of time where it is all perception, and only perception.

      I'm always happy to hear from you and grateful for the interesting ideas you bring to your thoughtful comments.

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  12. I love it when you blow my mind so thoroughly.

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    1. Thank you for the opportunity... :) I hope your week is off to a good start, t.

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  13. What magic there is in just listening...

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  14. Sometimes there is such beautiful in the quiet still of morning. Lovely.
    Wishing you a very happy first week of December Teresa!
    xo Catherine

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    1. I wish the same for you, Catherine. Nice to hear from you and congrats on such a great test score!

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  15. Still and quiet: I have moments of my own like that, where the instant is somehow marked and we are aware of not just ourselves but our place in the world...

    Which is comfortingly small.

    Pearl

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    1. What a beautiful thought, Pearl. Thank you....

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  16. I have what I call time-jumping dreams. I will start out say driving a car and suddenly I am on a ox cart or on horseback--traveling, but in a different way, you know. The feelings are the same or I am still just me...hard to explain. But it's this strange feeling of time folding in on itself...that it actually has little relevance...along with names, places, jobs...

    Kind of like we are all going through life on earth school down here--from pre-school to graduate school. The schools and classrooms may look different and you never know who might be taking the same class with you, but we all have to attend all of it--every subject--every class--until we pass. That's why it may look like nothing changes with us. Kindergarten is always in session right alongside the graduate classes. And a few graduates probably stick around to teach. We are not a very bright lot about a lot of subjects. I know I have had to be knocked over the head many times on certain points and have many I am still totally baffled by...and I am nowhere near being in grad school--LOL!

    You really got me thinking with this lovely post, Teresa. Have a fabulous day. You are a wonderful listener and share your path so well. In awe. :)

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    1. That is what is so interesting about these types of dreams, that we remain essentially the same. I experience that sense of time folding in on itself in almost sublime, certainly transcendent, moments while awake, also. It really is such a very thin "veil" calling itself "time."

      I always appreciate your thoughtful comments, Rita. We all learn from each other.

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  17. Hi Teresa,

    My family went to see Lincoln the day before Thanksgiving. I love history and have read one of the many Lincoln biographies, so I knew that I was more interested in seeing it that my wife and daughters, but I thought that we would all be able to take something from it.

    I was a little upset with the opening scene because it seemed too graphic for a PG-13 movie, but I took the opportunity afterwards to talk about the brutality of war with my 12-year old daughter. It's tragic that the U.S. has been at war for almost her entire life.

    One would think that "we must be growing weary of the bodies in the mud and the sand," but sadly, I see no evidence of it.

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    1. Perhaps it's important to see the brutality of war even at that age in order to fully understand its impact. Perhaps she will actually be stronger for it.

      I really appreciate your new post, Ray. Best thoughts to you as you secure the perfect place of employment. The place you seek is seeking you.

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