Conjugating time at present tense


Raluca BarbuUnhurried is time in its tick tock, equally passing its age over every living thing. Doesn’t rush the sun to set just to favor the night and allow it a few more hours of darkness. Doesn’t blow the leaves out of the trees’ hairdo slower than usual just to postpone the inevitable freeze. Doesn’t knock on anybody’s door to bring them news from the future. It will be revealed for each of us when time will have left behind all that has been and got to present tense. As always steady and unhurried.

Right now. The sun is setting. Winter is arriving. It’s already next year.


That is where lies a part of our suffering, in the hope or rather illusion that if we could turn back time we would be truly happy. If the future would start earlier, the sadness would end and we could finally live to the fullest. We never really purposely live life to the fullest, always busy picturing a better version of the one happening right now. We’re not present. We’re lost in different fictitious  past lives that mysteriously would have gotten us to a better present or lost in endless possible futures that would take us to a far better and more complete life than this one right here.

We are on a single journey, constantly wishing we could start over, convinced that we could do a better job the second time. We seem to know it all. We are wise. We actually are aware that time doesn’t hurry or move backwards. We know the past is over and the future hasn’t begun. Basic. Still we run from the reflection in the mirror, delaying to love it until it will somehow get younger, leaner, more confident. We run from what we actually own and hope for something else. We hide from the life we do have just to close our eyes and imagine a more satisfying one. Imagination has indeed no limit.

There’s nothing new in my words, just rephrasing old ideas, old for humanity anyhow. Therefore, I get to put my mind in order convincing myself of a universal truth: I exist only now.

My past self is sheer imagination and so is my future self. Unreal. The real me however (not the one you remember dancing with at a party or the one you’ll be having coffee with next week) the one actually existing is lying in a recliner,  writing on the laptop accompanied by a library book and a glass of whiskey cream on the end table. The Christmas tree I see out of the corner of my eye while typing has just been decorated, partly with ornaments from a distant life of mine and partly with some that decorated the past Christmas’ of people I will never meet. Beyond the window through which the day lights up the interior of this house I now call home, lies such a serene winter over this far away country, so far away that not even my imagination could of conceived it for my future.

Because of the big crossroads and subtle turns in my journey I’ve come hopefully soon enough to the conclusion that I will never know what is indeed best for me, much less for others. Every moment I am the best version of myself.  I’m always where I’m supposed to be and I will constantly have what I need. The assumptions starting with what if and maybe are in safe keeping for literary content I still intend to write. Therefore my wish for the closing of the year is to be gratful for every now, because no then will ever be better for me.


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