Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Future Is Now

… was the name of a course I took my first semester at Antioch College in 1969. I believe it was trying to make a deep philosophical statement, but now it takes on a new meaning. I made a calendar for myself tonight to make sure I was in touch with commitments, but at the end of the little project, realized I could only fill in the next three days. The rest of April, all of June are blank and July has some things in pencil knowing they might yet be erased. Indeed, the future as I, as we, used to know it, has been reduced to now—or at least the next few days.

My school life and beyond was run by the calendar. Each day had a character according to which children showed up at the music room door, each month was marked by different ceremonial events, all of which I had to prepare for, dream of, work for. And my very active life outside of school was likewise filled with this or that weekend Orff workshop, a few courses in other continents, a series of SF Jazz classes, an occasional music gig. Not to mention the concerts or plays I had tickets too, the occasional party or wedding and so on.

Life back then—meaning 5 weeks ago!—was always a three-part affair. The anticipation, the looking forward to followed by the event itself and then the savored echo and reflection. Now the mantra of 1969—Be Here Now—is not an optional spiritual choice, but a practical daily reality. 

I miss that life. I’m doing okay and there are still little things to look forward to—the Zoom alumni sing, the neighborhood sing, a few online classes with the kids, but I miss the excitement and variety and expectancy built into a full calendar. Again, it’s okay, the narrowing down to the nutritious and mostly tasty three-meals a day of rice, beans and tortillas I ate a lifetime ago in Guatemala, but still I yearn for a stir-fry or a pizza. Don't you?

And how are you doing with your empty calendar life?

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