The Heat Of Our Now

Out on the water—looking toward the mountains— is where it always seems that tomorrow resides. Back to the sunrise, front facing sunset, hopes flung out on a thread of thought that unreels to land too close still.

Casting, casting, back and forth above. Finally the thread lands on the other side of the mountains into tomorrow. That’s where hope lands, in the place where the sun says goodnight and we fold our hands, fold our wings. We did what needed doing, always thinking about tomorrow.

And the now is where our shoes stand. Looking down at our feet in them we are rooted in presence. Neither before nor after, our now expands, our feet melt down through the earth, all the way to China, where it all began.

The heat of our now becomes all things: temperature so hot we bypass ash and are pure light. We reflect nothing, we absorb everything, become each blade of grass, each owl, each blue spruce, each saguaro, each knothole in each weathered board in each ghost town. Each growling stomach, each blue screen, each pair of shoes, rooted in the now, expanding into the All.

So many at once casting their thought threads over the mountains into tomorrow that the air above is thick with filaments— a tapestry is being woven. Cast ye your filaments of joy and hope and eager anticipation!


The hills across have gathered tribes of trees that watch me, all of them, from afar, to see what I will do. Without judgment but with interest, each tree has cast towards me a thought-thread of hope for tomorrow. They attach lightly, thousands of energized filaments. A tree’s hope feels like calm expectation. No way to go wrong, really. Just feel it….

Running Out of Time

This week I had plans to write about what it’s like to be a close observer and imitator of minute movements of the face: eyebrows, lips, eyes, tongue, jaw, throat and neck, forehead, scalp, cheeks–and how the whole head’s tipping on its Atlas in even the tiniest way can communicate worlds.  I had plans to describe in detail what it’s like to be a professional observer of tiny facial movements, and how those tiny movements, as observed and interpreted, are the communication link, the life-preserver-on-a-rope for non-vocal people and their families. I thought of writing about how my love of non-verbal communication led me to a career where I would be asked to analyze a video and tell by watching a killer’s movements, whether the murder they committed was premeditated. I considered describing how, even if I cannot specifically understand what is being said in a silent video through lip reading, I can analyze cadence and length of speech, number of syllables, whether a question requiring an answer was asked, whether a person is using a raised voice or shouting, whether they are speaking aloud or merely mouthing words (watch the breathing patterns), and whether their movements indicate a knowledge of the placement of security cameras.

But I ran out of time. Because the movements I saw this week, in real life, are the movements that are stuck in my head. The uncontrolled jerking of my father’s hands as he began to choke on his food, and the slumping forward of his body as he lost consciousness. The elderly woman at a nearby table weeping, lifting her glasses and dabbing her eyes as she watched the trauma unfold. The large woman in the orange t-shirt who stood atop a planter in the parking lot, waving her arms frantically to attract and direct the firetruck to this small restaurant in the strip-mall that serves the best Mexican food around. I see the tattooed homeless man who watched through the window, crossing himself over and over again. I see the firefighter working to clear my father’s airway by punching him over and over again in the diaphragm. I see my father through the window, strapped to the gurney, the color returning to his face, and I watch closely for the tiny movements that indicate that he is breathing. He’s breathing. He’s okay.