It Will All Be Over Soon
BushCo? Kerry? SUV gluttony? Your last orgasm? All flashes in the geological pan, baby. Don’t forget
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, October 8, 2004
It’s so easy to get all caught up in the everyday spit and hiss and noise and blank presidential smirks. Isn’t it?
It is, after all, incredibly easy to get stuck in the white-hot moment, all screaming elections and bland debates and counterfeit terrorism fears and ugly obesity epidemics and Atkins-approved bubble gum and air/water pollution like an afterthought, all commingling with the mad melodrama of your last bad haircut and the scratch on your precious bumper to the point where we forget the scope of it all, the scale, the macro and the micro and the ebb and flow and the imminent flip of the cosmic switch.
This is how we are wired. This is only what we see. The long view is clearly not our forte, a sense of the celestial a concept we just can’t quite taste. We forget, for example, how relatively quickly regimes rise and neoconservative empires fall and populations overturn and how nearly every single human biped now alive and walking and spitting and parallel parking and consuming Big Macs and not watching ABC sitcoms on the planet today will be very much completely dead within a short 100 years, if not sooner.
Pause here. Think about that. A hundred years, everyone now alive, dead. Everyone. You. Me. Bush. Your kids. All dead. Guaranteed.
And of course you are not exempt because if you are old enough to read this and if you are old enough to make it through this paragraph without caring all that much about the general carefree lack of major punctuation or a clear thesis statement, then it is indeed proof that you are already well on your way toward some sort of Regurgitative Afterlife Leapfrog-arama, some sort of mystical evolutionary whoop, if not a ghostly dreamy moist sepia-toned afterlife featuring a plethora of nubile long-eyelashed callipygian assistants plying your luminous self with wine and chocolates and fine artisan cheeses, forevermore.
But as true as that scenario may be, on a moment-by-moment basis, we aren’t much aware of what might be in store. We block, we dodge, we fill up on grease and poison and anger, and it all seems so immediate, so right now, so present and hateful and suffocating as if there has never been anything else but this, but Bush and Kerry and Saddam and Ford Expeditions like a national cancer, bad schools and staggering third-world poverty and a Dubya-ravaged planet.
And history merely seems like a blurry, unrecognizable movie and the future just a vague intangible notion, a blip, a hint, so much so you can only smell the immediacy in the air and taste the bitter metallic tang of it on your tongue and you want to spit it out and cleanse your palate on something fruity and swooning and just a little bit eternal, which is why we so desperately turn to religion, and religion can only mostly shrug and offer platitudes and guilty doctrine and blind faith and ask for money. You know how it is.
Funny, then, that the mystics and the gurus and the deep thinkers, they always tell us that true awareness, true power of self, comes from living in the now, in the moment, in the deep Yes of today, though of course we look at them and say but wait you can’t possibly mean I must commit myself with full unwavering intimate intent to the war and Donny Rumsfeld’s black soulless eyes and cancerous McNuggets and hissing policy wonks and Bill O’Reilly digging himself a karmic grave with every shouted sneer and Jessica Simpson’s ubiquity infecting us like an STD, right?
No no no, they reply. No, of course that’s not what we mean. Then they might roll their eyes and sigh and order another pitcher of mojitos.
What they mean, rather, is to sink so deeply into the hot moment of now that you can actually transcend the mad swirl of heatstroke and hate and bile and Bush and jackhammers outside your window, and learn to see through the raw everyday smoke-and-mirror shell game of blissful agony and corrupted paradise to where you can actually begin to see the eternal in it all, lick the interconnectedness, move like you know you’re really just a thousand pins dancing on the head of an angel.
This is the trick, then. To live so intentionally for the wet sticky Now that you dissolve the distinctions and see that it all flows together and it’s all just two (one? zero?) degrees of separation between Us and Them, Fear and Hope, War and Love and Porn and Religion and Man and Woman and Self and Divine and Will and Grace and this too shall pass and Bush is just a sad bleak phantasm we have to pass through, like a sewer pipe, a dark reeking cloud, a bad fever dream, a nasty flu you had as a child where you dreamed your hands were two balloons.
Live in the moment, pay attention, participate, delve into the issues as if your life depended on it, fight your ass off for what you believe in and what you care about and what matters most. But then again, avoid toxins, don’t get poisoned by it all. Stay clear, be spiritually nimble, physically radiant, transcend at will. This is the balance. This is the flux. This is the only way.
Because soon enough, a small hunk of time will pass and this epoch will flit away and we’ll blink a number of times and feel a slight shift and not remember much of it anyway. Which is why we have the Internet. And books. And “I Love the ’00s.” And faint wisps of memory, like threads, like smoke, like vague hints of something else.
We will very shortly all look back on this and laugh. And cry. And point fingers and lay blame and try to figure out what the hell went wrong and where we screwed it all up and what we did right and where we found our glimmers of hope and our delicious hallowed balms of much-needed temporal salvation.
Do you see? Does it make any sense at all? Are you paying sufficient attention? No?
Then come closer to the screen. No, closer. Even closer, still.
Do you see it now? See how it all begins to dissolve and soften and pixilate? To break apart into a million tiny perfect luminous dots with nothing but infinite space between and infinite potential betwixt? Well, there you go. There’s your current event. There’s your immeasurable now. Think about it. Now get back to work.