I have been thinking about this article for days and different moments had brought the focus on different angles of the topic.
Surely we have all said at some point a phrase like 'I wish I was there now' or 'how nice it would be if this was to happen now'. Phrases that declare that something is missing from 'here and now' and there is something better somewhere else in terms of time and place.
Various philosophies (newer and older) and methods such as meditation suggest concentrating on the 'now', the present moment as the only one that is accessible to us. In contrast, there is the past that has passed and the future that has not come yet.
Every moment is the tick of a clock, the blink of an eye, a quick glance, a music note, a nod, a touch, a word. A moment can be a lot of things.
The modern lifestyle is organised around a time continuum.
'I am that person' includes where one has come from, what he has done in the past and constitutes 'who' he is now. It continues with the 'I am going there', 'I am doing this' (' the job is going well'), 'I am well' or 'I am not well at the moment for this and that reason' and it concludes with 'I plan to do this', 'I am aiming towards', 'I dream of living like that' etc.
Who we are, what we do and how we plan our lives, thus, is organised in a time based logical continuity such as from A to B, from 8 to 9 and always based on the betterment of what we want to have, what we wish to do, how to use ourselves and what we know from ourselves, e.g. I want to be happy listening to this music or I want to take it out by going to the gym etc.
What is the focus on the present moment then? What can the 'now' conceal that is not already in the continuum I have just described?
The 'Now ' can hide a lot, maybe anything that hasn't been in our plan already.
It may conceal a sad thought during a joyous celebration, relief in a difficult time, the feeling of fear in a safe state, the agony of the unknown in a familiar situation, the bitterness when we only expected joy, the quietness in a turbulent period, the breathing space in a busy period, a smile in the crying, the hope in moments of despair, the emptiness in the capacity to be fulfilled.
I have met a lot of people who do not live their lives unless they make plans, who need to know what they are doing at any given moment or they get out of tune, they're not well and they find it hard to stay with the unknown. They need to plan their future and consider where every factor can lead to.
On the contrary, I have known many people who find it difficult to create any plan and they live life like it is happening to them in some way without choosing exactly where it is heading. Each choice becomes stifling and encompasses more stress than being conducive to something better.
One moment has the power to spoil our mood or take us to the sky.
A moment can conceal an entire universe within itself if we listen to it.
A moment can give another tone to something intense that we live.
A moment can give us a tip about how we really feel or what we really need in the moment.
A moment can give us deep contact with ourselves or with a close person.
A moment can reveal a deeper sense of pleasure and appreciation for who we are, what we have, what we do.
But how are we going to hear any of this (or none of this in the sound of silence) when there is no pause in the continuum? When we don't know how to stop on the chase? When we don't know how to observe ourselves, what we do and what we think?
Sometimes what we call tranquillity, balance, serenity, relief and happiness can be much closer to us in moments than we have learned to believe.