The moon is up, and my body remembers it’s the time for sleep. With a gradual aching pull, my eyelids begin to close in, taking my sight with them. We want to shut down! my limbs scream. Still vertical, still typing, still thinking, "not at this hour!" they shout louder. And one by one, each muscle decides to give me another reminder, they dose out the pain. First the fingers, then the shoulders…it’s a mutiny. They want sleep. Its time to turn off the lights and let the factory doors slam behind me as I exit. But a piece of me lingers in the deserted hallway. Something has splintered from my shadow and it remains behind, slowly spinning in space.
The clock reads close to midnight. These were hours once devoted only to sleeping, but day has not passed and the people of air still move in and out, calling my lungs home for a mere second. And each task is a lifetime. A brief bit of time to throw everything within the cauldron. To sing and move with all the passion that begs to slip out through orgasm. Each 6 minute cycle is calculated. What do I choose to do with it? Sometimes I think about lunch, sometimes I worry, sometimes I decide to get angry and remember injustices perpetrated. And sometimes, I remember to work.
Amidst the superfluous thoughts that knaw at my attention, I remember to breathe deeply. And then, I’m gone, lost in a place where body and mind wander among two separate worlds. We appear together, an image of unity, but most of me is elsewhere. The land has no name, no distinguishing features or melodies…and it sucks like an ever hungry void. Insistent on consuming every tree and thought, every movement and sound. And my body moves without me. It dances, sings, performs…it seems so normal, a picture of unity…but the "me" that lives through attention, dwells in the land of other and then and yesterday.
And then, a jolt of awakening…here I am, in this room, in this body, at this hour. It is now, in this small lifetime. In the 80 years I may be lucky enough to achieve, in the six minute experiment that requires the whole of me. The question is…what shall I do with this time? Pretend to sing, pretend to work and dance and move while a large part of me spins along the human wheel of emotion and desire? The wheel only moves in one direction…it passes the same obstacles, the same thoughts, the repeating fears and jealousies. Over and over, I decide to relive them…and each time, my blood boils and tears flow with familiar pain. When the timer sounds, I realize the moments are over and I was absent for their escape. It was faded concerns that swept me up and spat me out. My small 6 minute lifetime, over before I decided to pay attention.
Each day, I repeat the same mini life-death, and each day, I realize when it’s too late that I’ve been lazy, I’ve been careless and inattentive and the moments have passed while my mind was busy focusing on imaginary sufferings. These little lives that I abuse. These little lives that I take for granted. They will not continue forever, they greet me with opportunities and I squander the time. It could end tonight and I wouldn’t have made an inch of progress. Each day I forget, but each day I must remember.