Woody got it right, but the past doesn't only erupt at midnight. The past is a seething tsunami overrunning the seamless present. I have tried to avoid the vapors that seep through the crusting surface of moments as they become the shimmering crystals of reality, facets that glisten in the light of a shifting awareness. But the present is just as unavoidable as it is inevitable. It is all we have, even though the future seems irresistible and relentless.
I realize how much I have tried to avoid the contradictions of myself. The long intervals of silence where I let the present pass unnoticed... the sad marking of time with obituaries of restaurant reviews and other irrelevant nonsense... our FaceBook sensibility where all that matters is "hello and goodbye" and" see where I am now" or "where I was a few moments ago"... my ephemeral pathway through the present which disappears in the nondescript passing of inglorious, insignificant moments. All that matters is to twitter the present.
Yet the richness of the present is the past, if we embrace it or allow it to engage us. The new social technologies are basically tools of avoidance. We are isolated by clicks and metal surfaces that are meant for tapping and texting. Images are meant to be captured and substituted for tasting and and touching. Everything is for the eye filtered through screens meant to seduce through the illusions of imaginary worlds.
Yet the only moments that seem filled with the luster of reality, with a tangible essence of something that will last through memory and linger in the fine filters of the mind, are those vividly present through engagement in the nowness of awareness alone, or in the presence of others so engaged in the moment. This conscious engagement is the poetics of making ourselves.
So it is with deep regret that I note the passing of Now unnoticed. Such moments are undistinguished because they are unnoticed. I am saddened by my neglect of Now so often that many of my past moments are vast deserts filled with nothingness or the blurred mirages of wishful thinking. I regret those moments of absence with no tangible presence of those who have noticed me and the emptiness of my failure to seek them out, to relish the reality of their being.
Our simple joy is the noticing of Time passing and to relish how it passes, and to add to its passing. Our simple joy is to notice each other, to appreciate the unique qualities each adds to our passing moments. Within that singular appreciation is the quality of loving and hating, of regretting and celebrating... appreciating those who have touched us profoundly, loved us, changed us, and made us become someone and something different.