Friday, March 9, 2012

Water Under The Bridge


Still too hot handle, let alone to sip, the boiling hot water cup slipped off its coaster beside me on the couch and crashed to the floor. My wife, her left pant leg saturated, bolted. The searing water sank into the couch cushion, dripped over the edge, pooled with the wet on the wooden floor. From the fridge I heard the ice-maker clunking. It was to be a sound repeated several times over the next two hours. The burn to Linda's left hand and side of leg was bright red, dramatic. Very sore. But she bore it with a calm and steady application of ice-packs. In the meantime I sopped up the steaming spill with rags, and retrieved the cup from under the sectional. It'd made a slight mark on the soft planking, but the vessel had not broken. And at this time of writing a day later, pleased to say, no marks were left on Linda at all, leastways, not so that one would notice.

At the time of the incident my friend on Skype quickly let me go. Linda had brought in the water as a matter of course, set it down beside me as usual, then leaned in a little closer the better to greet our friend and to be seen by my laptop computer camera. And that's when disaster struck. Or was it really a disaster of our own making?

Bad things come in threes, the saying goes. First there was my inadvertent adding of the wrong person on a private rough-draft of an email some friends and myself had bantered about. Shortly after that came my spilling of the red wine on our white settee and cream-blue-brown carpet. And now, within twenty four hours, there was this hot accident to clinch the superstition, despite my having just that day written about being Fumble-Fingered, and being brazen enough to state: "From now on I'll observe the NOW, so that I may become perfect! Well, at least until next time. Aargh!" Had I but known the irony inherent in the offing. No marks were left on anything or anyone though, leastways, not so that one would notice. Still, so much water under the bridge.

Ever been on the bridge and stared down at the water? Which part of it would one like to isolate, capture, hold to ransom, declare inviolate? Time and water flow; even solid things eventually dislocate, dissemble, disembody, and dissolve. Water, wind, dust, and energy; they move. But it is very much the necessity of man to retain solid structures around himself, to think in terms of endurance and indelibleness. After all, the very bridge on which one stands need absolutely to be trusted. It is difficult to be in The Now.

It is the concreteness of mans' expectations of himself that renders it somewhat difficult to accept the very fleeting nature of time. We have a very distinct Then, and Next, a solid sense of Past, and a prediction of Future, but of The Now? Water under the bridge.

Now slides by us and reforms into the next moment. As a practice I've tried the mantra of saying now I am taking a breath, now I am typing with an n, an a, and next with a... But at each moment I am aware I cannot solidify the moment and must of necessity flow into the next, even though this sentence still ends with a period. Now I am lifting my cup, now it does not overflow, now I put it down. Carefully! Ha! And so it goes. We do and undo and redo, and what IS becomes what was and what will be. Water under the bridge. Between the abstraction and the concreteness of life there is the focus, the perception, the taking of an idea and making it reality, moment for moment. If mistakes are from overreaching the moment, may all yours become... Water under the bridge.

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