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Day 196: “Now I am”

“I am letting go of my idea of time. I see that eternal life is not a question of “I will be forever,” but of “Now I am.” Eternity is time dying in me.” -Jean Lanier

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the death of a dear friend. It is hard to believe that so much time could have gone by, and in some crazy way, we still keep expecting him to come home, as though he has been gone on a long trip. Even now, there is a way in which we keep coming back to the line between life and death that is crossed only one time.

There are some ideas that are presented as science fiction (i.e. Star trek) but feel like fact. Some of my all-time favorite books build their narratives around the idea that time is not only a linear chronology. If time and space merged into one field, all the time that has ever existed or ever will exist, exists in this present moment. This is how you can heal the past in the present and release a future that totally renews. The practice of forgiveness is not only the emotional salve of the soul but actually reorganizes time.

Of our dear ones that we never have the pleasure to touch again or hear their voice or look into their eyes- the distance of time and space that divides life and death carries a weight that maybe exists to tether the survivors to the gravity of the here and now. I see my friend, his widow, learn to balance this weight with grace and agility some days and others with grief and disbelief.

It is in this delicate balance of remembrance and being fully present to our moments of “Now I am” that the people we love live beyond their body and into eternity. Somewhere in my heart, I can still hear the crazy singing messages that Larry would leave and his robust laughter echoes at parties still. Over time, the voice integrates into us so deeply that we aren’t sure if it is a memory or a dream of some unseen future. Or maybe it is both.

Rumi once wrote: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” This is the giant meeting of space and time that we are all transported to, and where we meet over and over again. Letting go and holding on are the two moves that make up the dance of life. Love is how we manage to do both.