But that was exactly the lesson, and I am more prepared now to write about what I wanted to write about then.
Lets start from the beginning. I am feeling completely saturated by the idea of time--or rather the lack of it; its intangibility--and have been wanting to write about how moved I am by the idea that time has less to do with hours, minutes, days and so much more to do with frequency, with the intensity of emotions, the finality of decisions, a willingness, fearlessness, trust, knowing. The illusiveness of time is an idea that has been seeping through my actions and thoughts even in planning to move to Marseille, and though I have done what I came to do (eat, drink, smoke, all pants free and all while writing more often), I hardly feel as though I have had enough time to do so, despite hardly believing that I have been here for as long as I have. In other words, I am feeling like I haven't used the time away as best as I could. Like I still have too many questions that, as time runs short, I am trying to prove I have the answers to. Like there could have been more. Like yesterdays lack of productivity was a lost precious French day.
You see, I've been waiting for these certain kinds of moments. You know the ones: those moments where you just stop. Like eating. You take a bite of the best goddamn lemon tart you have ever had and stop. Set your fork down on the plate and stare at the pastry like: whoah. Better yet, moments that you get to stare at yourself and your decisions and wisdom and be like whoah. There is no more intelligent way that I can say this. Set your pen down and pause, because it is sometimes in stillness that we grow exponentially; when we take the time to digest the sweetness we have tasted, reap the nourishment and energy from it, salivate again for life. It's moments like these where there seems to be silence, like time actually stops, because it really truly can. It can stop in all of the right moments. Not because of its own timing, because of yours. Because right here right now is right.
Sure I have had a couple of these moments here, some have involved tarts, others have involved wine, most all were not the moments I set out to have. Yesterday, or rather, this morning, was one of them. I thought that after sleeping off yesterday's emptiness that I would come to understand what I was trying to find in the power of the immediacy of such moments. Instead I realized that they aren't as immediate as I supposed. They are in fact gradual revelations; the compilation of all those lapses of time that seem like lost space. Those times you felt like you were bashing your head against the wall? They were for now. And now is for what is next. It is a continuum of presence.
Every "aha" moment is but a part of a much grander process; nothing we experience is lost or wasted, everything is gained. Even when we feel as though we are regressing, it is as Pema Chodron says:
"nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know;"
regression then, is simply that we haven't fully understood the lesson we thought we already learned--aren't ready to be where we want to. That's what familiarity is. When one situation seems to evoke the same emotional response in us as another, we feel like we have gotten nowhere with our reactions or choices. Really, though, acknowledging the familiarity and our responses is a part of being present in more moments than one; we were then, and we are now. Allowing any amount of back and forth or full circle occasions to occur is part of the process of living. Living consciously is the challenge then, being aware of how much and how little time we have and not devaluing our "mistakes" our losses, our regrets; not getting caught up in where the time went or how it could have been better spent. You can never know that. The more you free your spirit to take everything as it comes as a product of where you have been, the more you allow the universe to pull and push you, the more you become able to see at once the rapidity of new and old shaping now, and the spaciousness for experience and change.
Every little detail is significant; every bit of time is spent learning, opening, closing, lifting, releasing, meeting people, saying goodbye, exploring, experimenting, knowing intuitively. That's a lot! So as important as it is to welcome the intensity of moments where you make a sure or fearless decision, have a sudden understanding, a letting go, it is just as integral to recognize the vastness of your knowledge, wisdom, and experience, the compilation of all the seemingly insignificant things that these inherent moments get their force from. Allow yourself to lose track of time-- and live.
Immense love to my soul sister C--the woman who can put my thoughts into words with me barely saying a thing, and to my uncle for the words of another when I had none--your timing was perfect.