Sometime, when you look back, you can point to a time when your world shifts and heads in another direction. In lace reading this is called “the still point.”
~ Brunonia Barry (The Lace Reader)
No matter what all the books and gurus claim, we don’t ever live fully in the present moment. How is this possible when there is such a vast sea of memories within us? We can aim to live each given moment to the full, but we can’t escape the past.
Nor can we ignore what lies ahead. The sum total of our being is comprised of past, present, and future. Our history teaches us what we need to know about ourselves in order to move forward. The present shows us where our feet are standing now.
Dreams and goals direct us toward the future.
The eternal now is the intersection where all three meet.
Within the still point, past, present, and future exist simultaneously and time, as we know it, disappears completely. ~ The Lace Reader’s Guide
One memory haunted me for the longest time. It wouldn’t let go until I wrote it down and contemplated its meaning. It taught me how empty I was, always on a quest for peace of mind, forever roaming about and knocking on doors, seeking for some outer source to fill my lonely ache. It taught me about the God shaped vacuum.
The Still Point
Beneath a dome of gunmetal sky I push my toddler
son along the bumpy pavement, buckled up
and snug in his umbrella stroller.
We come upon a ghost campus
at spring break. The only signs of life today are a
concert of birds in verdant trees, and centerstage,
a fountain cascading into a wishing pool.
Incandescent fish, like kids at hide and seek,
dart underneath the candock.
The stroller click-clacks onward, over brick pathways
in our pursuit of pleasure. Here, an octagonal structure
on which a plaque is posted: Peace to all who enter
here. A locked door. So much for peace. Whatever
presence might have dwelt within that place
remains a mystery.
The meditation center, I’ve been told, has since
been leveled like an old ramshackle privy.
A quarter-century passes. My son grows tall
and travels west, ascends the heights
of Swannanoa where heaven
is more within his reach.
And me? Even now I stroll toward the still
point in my wandering mind. And sometimes
I arrive to find the door left open.
Looking back, can you pinpoint a time
when your world shifted and you headed in a different direction?
The Still Point was first published in Crucible.