The Choice We Do Not Have

Almost always my mind is a collage, one image atop the other. Fear, focus, joy, sorrow, and ennui are all a jumble. No one past experience is distinct.

Sometimes, a single image tries to stop the stream for no thing and no one ever wants to be past. Yet, that is what we all become.

We don’t get to stay forever–anywhere.

We want to float on the present until we don’t. We find a comfortable place, as if to stay existence. We convince ourselves we are getting on with life in our own eddy, circling.

Making time stand still is not included in our life choices packet. It may be the only choice we do not have. But there are billions of others, maybe trillions.

More and more I rely on one choice, my breath–the in and out of it. As Chuang Tzu taught, “all you need is to understand the one breath.”

In those fleeting moments of clarity–oneness with everything–the breath is all there is. All of those images vying for attention are silent. The competition of the collage ceases.

In that moment, all I am is present–and nowhere else–until I realize I am present. I smile, as the collage of images returns. I am not disappointed.

Rather, there is joy and gratitude in knowing that being present–stillness–is available to me in every moment. But I am human, and sometimes the present is rough and choppy.

I cannot be bothered with the breath–the situation requires more–as if I could live without breathing. I think I have a better plan but I don’t. I swirl in an eddy of my own making.

It is in “one breath” that I stop swimming against the current and float on the present, leaving the past to its own devices.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

3 thoughts on “The Choice We Do Not Have

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  1. wow, that is a beautiful picture!!!
    by the way, when I experience those rare moments of clarity, it seems like I have stopped time altogether, perhaps I have popped my head up out of the current of time for just an instant. I once heard someone describe meditation in this way: observe your thoughts as they come and go, and if you pay close attention, you will note there are tiny gaps between each thought. the objective of meditation is to dwell in those gaps, and try to expand them.

    Liked by 1 person

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