Friday, August 19, 2011

outwitted by flies

It's house-fly season in this neck of the woods. Zipping and darting and standing stock-still over bits of nourishment invisible to the naked eye. They're all over the porch where I sit.

And today as I sat there, two flies rested for a moment on my knee. They seemed to be involved in some play time or sex time, following each other around. Idly, with no real hope of success, I slid my right hand to within six inches of these two, thinking that perhaps their interest in each other would distract them from the fact that they might be under attack as I tried to catch them. I didn't want to kill them, just catch them for some brief moment.

It didn't work. My swooping hand came up empty, proving once again that I was sadly lacking in anything like a samurai speed and deftness. How fast they were! Gone in a New York minute! And all with an ease that put my efforts to shame.

What an enormous industry has grown up around the notion of "being in the moment." The phrase is ballyhooed, probably because everyone has had a moment or two when, indeed, there is a clear, unfettered space or time when things were exactly as they were and there was no thought of interference or improvement or capturing anything. This ... is ... it. No if's, and's, or but's. But as quickly as the understanding arose, it was gone, leaving in its wake a longing to return, to capture, to reassert .... No wonder it's a cottage industry gone wild.

No one can be any place besides "the moment" and yet "being in the moment" eludes and escapes and teases and taunts. How do you get where you already are? It can be a long and tumultuous journey. Planning, plotting, sweating, weeping, trying to creep up undetected ... and none of it works. Invariably it's there ahead of us and outwits the fastest hand.

If a couple of flies can outwit the intentioned hand, what makes anyone think the moment, which is infinitely more swift, would succumb to being caught?

Seeking to find what is already in hand ... seeking to escape the inescapable ... seeking to cage what never could outwit anyone. If a couple of flies can escape without breaking a sweat, why break a sweat?

But it's an industry within and without.

"Being in the moment."

Is anyone laughing?

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