Today that was
It happened as it did. We all acted as we were to have. Now we wait until tomorrow to begin again.
There’s a terrible finality to reality, isn’t there? As moments approach and are upon us, there is just one chance to act—whether nobly or ignobly, and mold the shape of the day.
As acts and events transpire, they are forever.
Once the day is over, that’s it. No amount of wishing can change it. No amount of praying can alter how every one of us reacted through the day.
Though we do wonder if things could have been different, don’t we? I’m not just speaking of woolgathering, but of a careful, contemplative examination of “ifs” that we might have visited. Through which would have emerged a grander reality, we surmise—a “better” day. Although we might not take on this review of history until long years hence, the idea is there—that one day, we might look back at this very moment and wish we had been doing something different.
The “what if” game gets tiresome, however. Today was. It was willed. It transpired. It is finished.
Michelangelo gave an interesting quote toward the whole notion of something that just “was.” The pope was visiting him as he sculpted his famous statue, “David.” The pope asked, “How do you know which bits to chip away?” Michelangelo replied, “I just take away the parts that don’t look like David.”
You see? He looked at a slab of marble and already saw David in there. He, in essence, was freeing the sculpture of David from the prison of the remaining stone. That slab of marble was destined to become David, through a willed and deliberate act of chiseling.
There’s a strange phenomenon in quantum physics called quantum decoherence. The idea goes, in so much as a non-scientist can put it, that certain particles won’t decide how to behave unless there is a conscious observer present. Without the observer watching, the particles don’t have a purpose. When the observer enters the system, the particles make up their minds as to how to act.
So, in other words, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, there is no tree and there is no forest.
When people enter into the day—today, and even tomorrow if we’re lucky, the world comes into focus. People live out their lives and give purpose to creation. All of the randomness of “could haves” and “might bes” decohere into reality as each of us steps into the next second and notices the arrangement of matter and energy around us. We then make conscious action, willful manipulation of that matter and energy, to live and interact with the other eternal souls around us.
Haven’t you thought it strange that life is this constant flux? There is no static state. It is like a rushing river.
God, the first and ultimate observer, looked at what would become the universe. He, through conscious action, willed the order of things, taking the chaos and decohering it into its structure.
We act in similar ways on much smaller scales, but the finality of our actions are potent, nonetheless. Some things can’t be unseen. Some things can’t be unheard. There is a terrible power in the act of living, giving an ultimate end to every finite moment. The fact that we can spread love or hate is further witness to our inherited condition.
The Scriptures say to let every minute be a living sacrifice to God—that every moment has in it the potential for a finality involving goodness and grace; be it through small acts or large. Heaven is brought to earth in love and compassion. Contrariwise, Hell is ushered in through selfishness and hate.
Some Rabbis said that God’s name, YHWH, is the sound of breathing—inhaling and exhaling…and that in our very breath, we’re whispering the name of God as a reminder to our purpose.
Tomorrow’s almost here.