what if?


Last weekend at the beach.  Grace and two cousins swimming to the raft on an overcast day.  I was preoccupied with the work call I had to do, but for a few moments, I was just there, too.

I met an old, dear friend for a walk early on Monday morning.  As I headed out of my house to meet her, the air was cool.  I walked down the steps and breathed in, enjoying the fresh air for a moment.  Then, of course, thoughts flooded in: fall must be on the way.  Snow comes next.  This season I love best is almost over

It’s July 12.

What if I could just welcome the moment that is without allowing it to be occluded by fear of what comes next?  What if my experience was just that, a moment-by-moment life, rather than a harbinger of what’s to come?

What if indeed.

Teach me how to live this way.

Experience, without all the associated emotions.  That’s what I’m after, right?  But I have no idea how to do that, how to unhook my day to day living of this life from my instantaneous emotional flinging, both forward (what’s coming) and back (what I’m reminded 0f).  Of course the way that the past and the future are animate in the present serves to enrich my life, but it also takes away from it.

Still, a little less of that echo might sometimes be nice.  I think of TS Eliot’s line, “teach us to care and not to care,” and think that’s what I’m really saying.  I want to care – be present, be awake, be engaged, but not too care too much – to release my white-knuckle hold on what was and sometimes-paralyzing fears of what will be.

Yes.  Teach me how to live this way.


6 thoughts on “what if?”

  1. Hey Lindsey
    if you learn this please do teach me too. I can completely understand your emotions as I deal with it every day.

  2. What if, indeed. Often I wish I could get out of my head, of the thoughts that weigh down the present moment and that, in hindsight, often turn out to be irrelevant (I guess that’s the beauty/struggle theme you were talking about).
    I suppose we can aspire to be less sidetracked, less affected, but our general predisposition will remain (and as you mentioned, that’s not entirely bad either). Thank you for sharing and enriching our lives.

  3. Please, I would love to know. The balance of it all, the push to not miss anything with the pull of wanting to be silent. I’m dealing with this exact struggle right now as I sit, mid summer, surrounded by my to do list and the lining fear of August and going back to teach, which consumes so much of my “silent” time. Thank you for sharing your struggle, too.

  4. Oh, Lindsey, I feel like we live such similar lives, climbing and traversing the emotions of life, and the tug and pull you so beautifully describe here.

    Teach me, too. xo

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