Live for tomorrow today
By Parson Thru
Advice: never work when you’re drunk or high.
Or when your glasses need cleaning.
Or when you’re feeling generally out of sorts, or dislocated, relocated, mal-located, lost in time or space, or generally not feeling athletic or ayurvedically balanced. Or when you can’t stand up.
Pack your pens and paper away. It’s for the best.
Lately, I’ve had bouts of homesickness.
By night, they come as dreams of familiar places, people and situations. In the daytime, during quiet moments, they manifest themselves as a longing, or gentle flashback.
I sat in the bathroom this morning, thinking about it. And it appeared to me that it wasn’t simply about a place, but about people and times.
The problem is that most of the people have moved on or died, and the times have changed. Nothing is as it was. As Heraclitus observed, you can’t step into the same river twice.
Instead of looking back for happiness, you have to look forward.
In a way, I envy those whose happiness is in the present; those who live in the now; those who’ve built their happiness around them. But no one is happy all of the time. Those who enjoy happiness today must surely fear losing it tomorrow, for nothing stands still. Time and life flow like a river, and we are all atoms of that river.
In the ever-changing waters of time, companionship is the most prized of things. It’s good to know that whatever current may take you, there is a stronger force. I find myself spinning like a radiometer in the sun. Live for the present / reach for the future.
Happiness in the present and faith in the future hang on the delicate wings of mobile communications just now. We chose to follow diverging paths that we believe will re-join. In the meantime, we have text messages and the occasional poor-quality phone call. We are living for today. Experience has shown us that as long as there is a tomorrow, it will be a good one.
Wherever I am, I stop and look around me when I can. I’ve been noticing how the grasses here have already produced seed-heads. I stopped and looked at a verge between a business park and the M30 motorway. It appears that a whole growing season has occurred in the space of a few weeks: grasses, sedges all producing seeds. The first flush of big daisies is almost at an end.
On the way into work, I watched a man standing in the road on the inside lane of the motorway. He was a patrolman of some kind. A car had broken down a few metres beyond the junction into the financial district. He’d parked his scooter a few paces before the stricken car. Its amber beacon was raised and flashing.
The traffic was speeding by, pulling out just in time to avoid the scooter and car. I was struck by how relaxed the whole scene was. The driver of the car had gone, but the patrol man sauntered between the car and scooter wearing his white crash-helmet, often with his back to the traffic, sometimes leaning against the scooter. You see drivers here looking anywhere but at the road in front; speaking and texting on their phones, browsing. I was anxious for him. Maybe that’s sufficient anxiety for both of us.