I tell myself to listen. To remember. Be present, this is it, be here now, but by accident I think about next week and what we are going to do and I remember how the air used to smell different in the spring when I was little, like rotting plums that had fallen off the tree, and the bees that gathered close to the ground.
I used to try to meditate--I think it was after I saw What's Love Got To Do With It with Angela Bassett as Tina Turner; I liked the intonation of nam-myoho-renge-kyo. And her arms. Picture a leaf floating on the surface of the water, somebody told me, only the leaf skittered and I thought of Skittles, Skipperdee, the turtle who eats raisins in Eloise at The Plaza and--leaf! Think leaf. Just leaf. Only for me ceci n'est pas ever just une leaf, so I gave up on picturing a leaf on the surface of the water.
Today on the bus ride home I was thinking about how the only time I am really truly in the moment is when I am angry. Pissed off and fuck that is when everything disappears. Needless to say this was not a welcome revelation.
I tell myself to think about what I would want if it were me in the hospital and what I would want is for my children to cuddle with me, so I climb beside my mom on the narrow bed and lay my head on her thin chest and marvel at how life really does shrink or expand in proportion to one's courage; I had not cuddled with my mom in years. I tell myself to listen.