It's not easy trying to figure out when this is. This thing we call now. We say we know what it is while we wait for something to tell us in finite terms.
Glance at your watch, glance at your phone, glance at the LED reader board with the weather and time. That's how you know.
Wake up and smell the coffee, live in the present, learn from the past, don't look back, the future is bright, but be here now.
Why do you feel confused? This should be as clear as amber shimmering in the sunlight.
Politicians try to cajole us into thinking this is just like some other time. When that doesn't work we hear that we are in unprecedented times.
We're pushed and pulled into believing this or that about how much our times resemble those of fallen dynasties and republics, and if we only will settle on the pathway swaddled in the make believe solutions of the specially knowledgeable among us, or maybe rely only on the red, white and blue, we should be able to get the land of milk and honey.
The answers are just around the corner, easy to find. Grab them with gusto and you'll be on your way to bliss.
Yet, sunrise to sunset we scurry about like insects in our headlong rush to get everything on our to do list finished by the end of the day. We dash here, run there, checking things off as we go, telling ourselves there isn't enough time for it all until we run down the wrong branch into the big glob of pitch and find ourselves stuck.
The pitch hardens. It's clear enough for light to break through but we can't kick anymore. Then the future is upon us. We don't see the way out, blaming ourselves for lack of foresight. We fault our choices in the past.
We should have known, damn it.
Things get stuck in my head sometimes and swirl about until I give myself time to think. In a discussion here recently I saw it said that "time is not now it is always". It rang a bell but I did not know why at first.
Then I remembered it as central to Aboriginal mythology. It is known as Dreamtime; a space that exists through all, neither here nor there, now or later on. It is "Everywhen".
Westerners regard time as finite. There is a past, there is right now and there will be a future. It is all of existence micromanaged into little pieces of our locked in place imaginations.
The grandiose importance we accord the sensation of the present is at fault I think. Current events are described in breathless detail from every direction. Reactions are reported as events. A new event appears and a new reaction is of immediate importance. Caught up in knowing the moment as it unfurls, this culture hurls headlong into a space in time that only exists in our fantasies.
We must know more and in that pursuit we lose sight of knowing what is already known. Commonality is parsed into cultural differences. We're advised we would do better to discover and celebrate the beauty of those differences.
In our absoluteness, the smugness of right being, we miss the single most important aspect of life; You are me and I am you.
It is in that way, newscasts blaring, political debates raging, town hall arguments rumbling, we lose ourselves. Fumbling our way through a temporal existence, we don't find the place that is settled, the place that simply is.
Choosing to ignore ancient wisdoms, we stumble through the continuum neglecting connections, arriving at the end of the branch without a map to take us away from the sticky glob, failing to notice that instead of just seeing people as they are, we have mistakenly chosen to see them as we are.
The pitch begins to harden.