Monday, September 1, 2014

yesterday is soon enough

At about 5:15 a.m., I heard the newspaper slap up against the front stoop. It was a morning ritual I hadn't really expected on Labor Day, yet here it was, fresh as a daisy ... brand-spanky new: Yesterday's news. And the first thought into my head was, "Yesterday is soon enough."

Suggesting that anyone consider his or her own presumptions about time often leads to beard-stroking ruminations and sundry other profound observations. Time is so woven into everything that ... well, you can understand why anyone would say "fuck it."

But, with a light touch, I think time is worth considering.

And always it strikes me as true: "Yesterday is soon enough." Time invariably means time-past at the very moment when anyone might be asserting time-present. It's a disconnect hunkered down in the DNA. (I'm not interested in T.S. Eliot here ... it's the personal stuff that catches my eye.)

When I was a kid, there was snailmail and no email. Letters arrived two or three days after they were posted. The news they contained was old according to the sender, but became new with the opening of the envelope.

And when I was not even a twinkle in my daddy's eye, written communication might take weeks or months to arrive ... and be old even as they became brand new.

Internet users might sneer at such antiquities, but there is the same (if shorter) disconnect in the processing exercised by the Twitter-savvy. Yesterday is soon enough.

On the one hand, 'we' communicate in the present. On the other hand, and simultaneously, 'our' present is just a version of the past. Those who are 'living in the present' would be wise to consider their satisfaction. The price for not considering it is endless doubt ... I claim to be in the present by asserting the past. So, is the present nothing but past and if it is, then what is the past? I would like to repeat a past that was pleasant and avoid a past that was unpleasant. I would like -- or say I would -- to stop living in the past and live in what is plainly the present.

Oh well ... the tendrils reach out: Believe in the present and live in the past; disbelieve the present and receive the same result. How, I wonder, can anyone live in the present when they are already living in the present....

Or past....

Or whatever it's called?

1 comment:

  1. How broad or long is the present. What's on my plate to do right now is established by something in the recent past that must be dealt with in the immediate future. If the present is just a constantly moving designation that separates future from past... is there a present?

    I've always been of the opinion that the past was history, the future was a fantasy, and the present... well, now i guess it doesn't exist. I can only conclude that time sucks. Whenever i try to understand reality i just get pissed off.

    To hell with it, back to what i was doing.