POSTCARD #225: New Delhi: All these highways, routes, directions connected end-to-end. My itinerary links up in a network that reaches all parts and locations in time and space, everywhere in the world – no end, no beginning. Here-and-now awareness, or wandering in fabricated thought, a game of hide-and-seek where the flip-side of concealment is revelation and returning to the familiarity of present time, it becomes ‘now’ again.
Or I’m thinking about the concept of ‘now’ seated here in the backseat of a taxi to the airport, looking out my window at a landscape of connecting routes flashing by, and engine noise, vibration, bumps and jolts of road surface. Or trying to get emails on my phone but there’s no Internet right now. Try again later… where are we now? Glance at the taxi’s GPS, our point of present location on the map moving in tiny increments across the screen.
Time divided, subdivided and sliced into multi-channel TV programs, compartmentalized, locked down tight – the totality of it impossible to define. The impossibility of finding a way out of constructs framed in words: who, what, where, when, and why. Language gives everything names, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… different ways of describing present time. It’s always today, no matter if I call it yesterday, tomorrow or next week – today is every day. And even if I’m living in a make-believe world where it’s always ‘somewhere else’, all of that is included in present time too, ‘today’ occurring forever and always in rotations of the planet Earth. More than 1000 miles per hour of yesterdays, todays and tomorrows experienced in countless generations of endless time.
The illusion of solidity and grounded-ness created in awareness, the conscious state experienced in a soft body-mind organism that can process data. The feeling of I, me, and my, is the ‘I’ of everything that has ever been. A connectedness with all that is outside and all that is inside. A ‘world’ shared with all living beings as if it were a meal for a great number of guests at a huge table. Talking about all that we all love and all that we hate. All they create, all they destroy and all the words of politicians vanish into thin air, all conflicts are resolved eventually and it’s our mutuality, the fundamental sense of the feel of the air. Just holding in mind the scale of how vast this kind of love might possibly be… is enough to begin to know it.
Looking back again at my screen, still no Internet – a spinning cursor in a frozen background space, the unstated presence, the ‘is-ness’. An easefulness spreading through the face, the scalp, the head, the neck, shoulders and arms. A whole-body experience contained in this small space; metal, plastic, electric-spark-gasoline-fueled internal-combustion engine on rubber wheels, and blur of unseen things in window light passing through the interior of the taxi, small red light showing the fare so far. Time to pause, take a deep breath in, filling the chest cavity from top to bottom, then the long breath out, unfolding like a long ribbon of road in a landscape, reaching out there to a vanishing point on the horizon.
“Time is the longest distance between two places.” [Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie]