Imagine this with me. Close your eyes and put yourself in your favorite setting. Maybe it’s a flower-filled prairie, like the one where Marnie and Tom got married. Maybe it’s a lush green lawn with woods on the far end. Maybe it’s the beach, maybe a white sand beach, and the waves are shushing over your feet. Maybe it’s a creek in the mountains. Maybe it’s a busy city — maybe it’s Broadway, in New York. Maybe it’s the high desert, maybe it’s the karst pillars of Halong Bay. It really doesn’t matter one bit. Close your eyes and put yourself there.
Now, imagine that there are bubbles in the air, floating toward you. Maybe just a few, maybe they’re floating softly. Maybe there’s a whole bunch of them. It really doesn’t matter one bit. Just see those bubbles. Some pop against your face and body, some float just past you, grazing your arm. Some are far off to the sides, above you. Maybe you’re surrounded by bubbles, maybe there are just a few. They come toward you, they touch you, they move past you . . . or they pop against you and the film soaks into your skin. Most just keep going, and now there are just as many behind you as there are in front of you.
There you stand, with nothing really in front of you, coming towards you. It’s the same air, it is just bounded here and there by ephemeral soap film. You can see through it, see exactly what’s behind it, because there’s nothing really there. That bounding film is very fragile, and when the bonds break there is the air, the same air. The same thing is behind you — just air, the same air, with a fragile boundary holding it in “clumps.” Apparent clumps, but they’re not really clumps, it’s just air.
It occurred to me last night that this is exactly what life is. Here we stand, in this moment. We see the future coming towards us — plans, worries, hopes, deadlines, errands, fears — and they truly are no more real than the bubbles. Right? They feel real, and some may in fact pop against you and soak into you. Those debts, they’re sure real. That deadline, your boss is mighty real! That lawsuit that doesn’t stand a chance….wait, that bubble just popped right before my eyes and came to absolutely nothing. But it felt so very real, the consequences seemed almost certain. Until the bubbles touch your skin, break, absorb into you, they’re nothing. So much time and present life is directed toward those bubbles.
All those bubbles behind you, experiences you had, experiences of others? They were real experiences as they were happening, but now they are just bubbles. That’s all they are now. Maybe you and I were standing so close to each other that a bubble popped against both our faces, so we can talk about that bubble . . . but it doesn’t exist any more. Maybe it was something we loved, maybe something terrible, or sorrowful. But it doesn’t exist any more. It’s a story we can tell, a story that might matter a lot, but it doesn’t exist any more.
What exists is you standing there. Life is you, in that prairie or desert or city or river or mountain pass. Life is you and those with you, in this moment. This moment now, not those drifting towards you or those floating behind.
I’ve found myself starting and trashing posts, finding them dumb or boring or unimportant. I’ve found myself starting to get wrapped around something, but realized it’s really just a bunch of bubbles. I’ll start to wonder why I think about something in a certain way, and realize that’s just bubbles — maybe even bubbles about bubbles. Obviously this does not make for a prolific blogger. 🙂 Maybe this is a temporary thing, maybe my life is just so quiet right now that I don’t have all that much to say. I’m still here, still doing all my lovely things, tending to the people I adore, working, doing yoga, making and eating delicious food, reading, walking. I hope the bubbles floating toward you land softly on your face. xoxo