Monday, September 26, 2005

This Shining Moment in the Now

A friend of mine talks about the constant, niggling little voice that all writers - perhaps everyone - seems to have on "Play" in their heads, commenting and editorializing about everything. It's so busy telling us what has happened or what it expects to happen next that we often miss what's going around us until after the fact.

It's Fall again, almost time for me to oil the chainsaw, start moving the cord of green wood to the plile and intermix them with the more seasoned logs, break up the last of the big pieces from the old tree that fell in the windstorm a year and more back.

The work shuts down the voice. And occasionally I'll reach that shining moment in the now that Budbill writes so eloquently about
- fhb

This Shining Moment in the Now

When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house—all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold...

when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees...

when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind...

when I am only here and now and nowhere else—then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.

by David Budbill, from While We've Still Got Feet © Copper Canyon Press.

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