Tuesday, October 20, 2020

between now and now

During the pandemic, you must notice the alteration of so many things, but one stands out - how time passes. This story reflects extraordinary passage of time.

One dreary wet Fall day, I was sitting on the fire escape when something very large and black flew by at an incredible speed. It was a bit jarring since it came so close to me. Five minutes later it returned, but as it zipped by it suddenly and incredibly stopped  and there in front of me about 4 feet from my face was the biggest blackest dragonfly I had ever seen with a 7 inch wingspan hovering and staring right at me. 
I yelled out and it flew away.

Later I asked google what a visit by a dragonfly means. I received various links to some pretty out there stuff.  I liked one article that explained the visit meant that you were supposed to pay more attention to the present. Stop living in the past or future. Stay present.

So that article stayed with me for a long time and I actually began to change my life. I began to live more in the now. 
I stopped analyzing so much and moved energy from passive to active mental, physical and emotional. What a rush!

I told the story about the dragonfly visit several times. One day I got a call  from a friend who wondered why there was a mirror on my fire escape? Oh that? I quibbled.
It's a piece of aluminum foil I put up to attract birds. It must have read like a  mirror from a distance.

I then realized that my dragonfly visit had nothing to do with me. Or time. He was drawn to the odd square of light emanating from behind me. The  juxa-position of myself and the mirror created an unexpected glow of light from behind and intrigued the creature.

So the dragonfly visited me regardless - just not the reason I thought.
And his story and telling his story over and over helped change my life for the better and "woke me up" from my stupor of living in a hollow world with no imagination.  I could exist and flourish and draw my strength from my imagination, like I've done my whole life.

It reminded me of when I asked my father how time passed for him at 85 years old. He replied - "it's like one very long day - from birth to old age". Dad died at 98. His life  must have seemed like watching a film in fast forward - everything and everyone, moving and talking at an incomprehensible speed.

And then I had a revelation.  How we choose to spend time is paramount to how we engage in living or not. I want to live my life to the fullest. Contemplation plays a big part in the land of the living - something I find harder and harder to do as I age. I want to be more active physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  This is what I want more of in life - not money, possessions, things, position or fame. Those things are fine, but they are not my ultimate concern nor who I am.

REPOSE oil on panel, by Tom Irizarry 9 x 12 inches, 2019