Meeting Thursday

Thursday means multiple things in my life—playing soccer, blogging, receiving freshly baked bread from my mom (Yum!). This Thursday arrived particularly well-dressed, with the still-full moon hanging over the ocean in the morning while first light painted the sky in pastels.

In a conversation later in the day, one person noted gratefully that it was almost Friday, and within moments, another said that the week had gone by quickly. The rapid passing of our limited time on this Earth becomes more apparent as we age, yet we sometimes hurry it along all the more.

We complete one task while already focused on the next. We get through the day so we can go home. We wish for the week to end as we look forward to the weekend’s activities. We are surprised by how quickly time passes yet rarely inhabit the moment we’re in.

This week, Thursday knocked loudly enough to get through my preoccupations and say, hey, it’s me, Thursday, and I’m pretty cool. Let’s hang out. (Yes, Thursday is apparently a California surfer—who knew?)

Each moment contains multiple levels of living. What we are doing at any particular moment is certainly part of that, even if we’re doing “nothing.” But if we stay only on that level, we’ll never meet Thursday, and we’ll never meet ourselves.

These encounters require a different kind of attention, an awareness—or an openness to being aware—of eternity, the infinite depth of connection present between each tick of the clock. We are part of eternity now. We are already endlessly connected. We can dwell in eternity when we’re in the office, at the grocery store, or on the couch at home.

Eternity is waiting within and around us every day of the week. We need only pay attention to meet it.

Holy Expletives and Everything Else

Thursday surprised me. There are a lot of ways to be surprised by a day, I suppose. The one I experience most often is “Holy expletive, Thursday is over and I still have so much to do.” (Isn’t it nice that expletives can be holy? They remind me of Robin: “Holy Priceless Collection of Etruscan Snoods, Batman!”)

You could be surprised by the beauty of a day or the quietness of it or by something that happens during it, like a friend bringing you a giant hot fudge sundae for no reason at all. (This has not happened to me…yet; I like nuts on my sundaes if you ever get the inclination.) But I was surprised by the 6:13 p.m., October 9, 2014-ness of it.

I was driving past the In ‘n Out near my vanpool’s park and ride when an awareness arrived that this moment in time existed and I existed as part of it. It seems odd to be surprised that we exist, but I spend very little time in the here and now, which, as a lot of people have said before me, is the only place and time in which we do exist.

So when the here and now reached out and got in touch with me, it was different. It was also immediately and obviously the place I’d prefer to spend all my time because it was alive and beautiful and nothing was missing. For lack of a better word, I’d call it holy, no expletive necessary.

Perhaps the surprise came only after I lost contact with the present moment, which was approximately a nanosecond after it arrived. I started thinking, ooh, this would make a good blog post, thus catapulting myself several hours into an imagined future. But I remember that feeling of awareness, and I’m looking forward to our next meeting.

Note: This idea of presence is old and can be found in a lot of places. I want to give credit to my most recent encounter of it in someone else’s writing, which was a mention of John Duns Scotus’s term “thisness” in Richard Rohr’s daily meditation.