Back to the present

This old rock planet gets the present for a present on its birthday every day.

— Annie Dillard (1974, 103)

Innocence sees that this is it, and finds it world enough, and time.

— Annie Dillard (1974, 83)

If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki (1970, 21)

Experiencing the present purely is being emptied and hollow; you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.

— Annie Dillard (1974, 82)

Mindfulness is remembering to come back to the present moment. The character the Chinese use for ‘mindfulness’ has two parts: the upper part means ‘now,’ and the lower part means ‘mind’ or ‘heart.’

— Thich Nhat Hanh (1998, 64)

What has gone? How it ends?
Begin to forget it. It will remember itself from every sides, with all gestures, in each our word. Today’s truth, tomorrow’s trend.
Forget, remember!

Yet’s the time for being now, now, now.

Finnegans Wake, 250

4 thoughts on “Back to the present”

  1. An extraordinarily thought-provoking group of quotations (plus the photograph). I’ve forwarded it by Facebook and email to many; and I’m already receiving very positive responses in return. Of course I encourage all to read Turning Signs.

  2. Thank you Gary! If my book becomes a best-seller or “goes viral” I know you’ll be the main reason.

    For many years I’ve had on my website an anthology of aphorisms called “Seednet,” collected over decades of reading. Now it’s being absorbed into Turning Signs, parts of it being recycled and regrouped and reused as blog posts like this one, with new hyperlinks added. I’m happy to hear that it’s finding an audience!

    By the way, the photo I inserted into this post is of the falls in Paterson, New Jersey. I chose this photo under the influence of the Jim Jarmusch film *Paterson*, which I highly recommend to thoughtful movie lovers, and the long poem of that name by William Carlos Williams which inspired the film. It’s all one vast interconnected sign …

  3. I sincerely hope that TS becomes a best seller as, imho, many would benefit greatly from your life long reflections on that Seednet of yours (and no doubt much more since). I know at least two friends who are currently reading TS, Carol Eilenberg, a visual artist friend, and an old college girl friend, Pamela Bayes (she lives in Scotland most of the year, in Grand Rapids during parts of the summer) and they are both finding it extraordinary.

    James and I once went looking for the Patterson Falls one afternoon without much luck. But we were pressed for time and didn’t really have an address. Now I’ll definitely want to find it as well as read the WCW poem at least, may hunt up the film.

    Btw, I wouldn’t have seen the post I’m responding to if Pam hadn’t noted that she’d written to you, so I checked your blog. Apparently your replies to responses to your blog posts aren’t automatically sent to the responder. Is that so?

  4. Morning Gary,

    You’re right, my replies to responses to blog posts are not automatically sent to the responder. But I’ve just added a checkbox so that commenters on a post can be notified of any further responses or comments on it. (I could make that automatic, but not sure if that’s a good idea!) We’ll see how that works … Also, from now on I’ll reply directly by email, as well as (or instead of) posting my reply on the blog. I do get notified by email when anyone posts a comment; if it’s a new commenter, I have to approve it before it appears on the blog (to avoid spam comments).

    Thanks again for all your help!

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