Like a terminal bud, the future sits in dark resilience, weathering the present’s timeless winter, wrapped in the protection of tight embryonic leaves of the past, of memories packed in but not yet ripened which will unfold at the right moment, under accidental warmth or the persistent downpour of circumstance, they will unfold, crowning and surrounding that which has not yet happened in sudden green gestures growing as they are revisited and directing the warm rain of the mind to the center where the fruit is forming. All the colors of the spring are memories blooming and feeding the future. All this time we have misunderstood the past, blamed it for distracting us from the task at hand; it was never like that. Wasn’t the task at hand always shoveling snow? Wasn’t it always salting the walkway? Still we could not escape the present as we cannot escape a blizzard, the white-out of no context, the compulsion to turn one’s head from a cold wind. And when the future is finally ready, when the memories darken slightly in their turn across the sun’s ninety faces then the present will come, not knowing why it is coming, as bee or bird or squirrel come but do not know why, and take the future on the only journey it cannot travel itself. And if we wonder why we lose the memories it is because their work is done, they can finally loosen and twist away in the tug of the present. Already we will have forgotten what it was specifically that was done, the hand on your back lightly, the walk through the teeming streets, but it will have served the reason for that touch, its continuing love, it can be forgotten for the love is still waiting, just ahead, it has never left you, it has always come back, even as the ground beneath you stiffens with frost, it is what makes you see beauty in the momentary lapse of attention to the present which we mistake for the present moment, beautiful even in the coldest full moon of the year bright on the metal roof of an empty house.
Beautifully written, Jeff.
Thanks! You know the seed for this piece was the chat we had about your poem a few weeks ago.
Thanks for telling me that.
However, you took an idea from that chat and turned it into a beautiful piece of writing.
Just goes to prove there’s the potential for great writing in everything.