Try to live in the here and now

Try to live in the here and now

Written by: Jerry Davich
September 10, 2018


Our ever-fleeting moment in the “here and now” is a mere tick on the cosmic clock. 

It exists for only the flash of a few precious seconds before vanishing into the abyss of the past. And then—poof!—it’s gone. In its place, another moment arrives and departs without us paying enough attention to it. Nonetheless, it’s possible to better appreciate such moments of meaning. With each one comes another opportunity to fully live in the here and now. 

Not everyone can afford the time or money to meditate at a mountaintop ashram. For the rest of us, we simply need to ascend to a heightened understanding of time and space. And then, the trickiest part, to remain present at the intersection of the two. This can be a difficult task in our drive-thru, disposable McCulture, regardless of our age, our career, or our income level. Feeling insignificant, for even a moment, is a timeless phenomenon for humans.  

A helpful illustration of this experience can be found at the interactive website hereistoday.com, which greets viewers with three simple words: “Here is today.” A yellow square marks the current day in front of a background of dark space with a spackling of stars in the distance. The yellow square, similar to our current day, eventually gets dwarfed by the sprawling expanse of time and space. 

With each click on the screen, viewers begin to realize the insignificance of a single day amid the totality of time. At any given instant, time can be a cruel taskmaster, a flirty seductress, or a fresh opportunity to capture the present moment. 

Photo Credit: Illustration by Michael Pancini
Photo Credit: Illustration by Michael Pancini

Our ever-fleeting moment in the “here and now” is a mere tick on the cosmic clock. 

It exists for only the flash of a few precious seconds before vanishing into the abyss of the past. And then—poof!—it’s gone. In its place, another moment arrives and departs without us paying enough attention to it. Nonetheless, it’s possible to better appreciate such moments of meaning. With each one comes another opportunity to fully live in the here and now. 

Not everyone can afford the time or money to meditate at a mountaintop ashram. For the rest of us, we simply need to ascend to a heightened understanding of time and space. And then, the trickiest part, to remain present at the intersection of the two. This can be a difficult task in our drive-thru, disposable McCulture, regardless of our age, our career, or our income level. Feeling insignificant, for even a moment, is a timeless phenomenon for humans.  

A helpful illustration of this experience can be found at the interactive website hereistoday.com, which greets viewers with three simple words: “Here is today.” A yellow square marks the current day in front of a background of dark space with a spackling of stars in the distance. The yellow square, similar to our current day, eventually gets dwarfed by the sprawling expanse of time and space. 

With each click on the screen, viewers begin to realize the insignificance of a single day amid the totality of time. At any given instant, time can be a cruel taskmaster, a flirty seductress, or a fresh opportunity to capture the present moment. 

Isn’t this our existential dilemma in life? To capture such peace, happiness or contentment in our hurried and harried world? Such an elusive task can feel like catching wind in a butterfly net. It’s there, but it isn’t. 

It’s natural for people of any era to feel insignificant, as if we’re merely a random fleck of dust in a violent windstorm. Yet in the same breath we can feel empowered by our very existence. One second, we feel as if we’re the center of the universe with history’s eyes solely on us. The next second, we feel as if we’re nothing but an afterthought in the grand scheme of an expanding universe. 

In the sprawling tapestry of time and space, ours is only a single thread of human experience. What should we weave with it at this moment? 

Our collective challenge is to find those moments by which to matter. This is especially true when our feelings of insignificance harden into existential angst. It’s an ancient dance between our fears and our hopes, our past and our future.  

We eventually realize, if we’re paying enough attention, the only thing that matters is the current day and the present moment. It’s the only moment that truly matters. Everything else is a sort of illusion or self-delusion.  

Our past is littered with regrets and glorified by nostalgia. Our future never arrives on a continual basis. Both dimensions elude our grasp into eternity. So we search for those precious yet elusive moments where time doesn’t slow down or speed up, but it stops. At least seemingly so.  

This momentary feeling of contentment—however you define it—can be found only in the here and now. Yes it may be but a mere tick on the cosmic clock, yet it’s our only chance to live to the fullest. To live in the here and now. Again and again and again. 

When that feeling of insignificance seeps back into our thoughts, remember to think big, not small. Search for the macro, not the micro. Look up at the heavens, imagine the enormity of it all, and ask yourself what can be done right now. In the here and now.