a few words from the center of the universe

by tobias crabtree

or, a hack’s attempt at being present…

yesterday’s future is set in stone. what was a maybe has taken place and the “sure things” that never happened were simple expectations. i don’t need to go into too much detail about expectations, we all know that they are a boat that floats upon a sea of disappointment. even armed with that knowledge, i spend much of my time expecting one thing or another. it’s a pretty natural thing to do, you know, want stuff.

there’s yesterday and then there’s the yesterdays that came before that, they’re all laid out there in the past with memories whirling in and out of them. some of those memories are dimming and changing with age while others are buried or forgotten, or both. you know how you can stand between two mirrors just right and see the reflections trail off into the distance,a weird kind of forever? that’s how i picture yesterdays. they are like mirrors reflected off of right now.

i’ve had discussions with people about being present, and i’ve read books on it. i’ve listened to people far wiser than myself talk about it. the real truth is that you can’t help but be in the present, our failure is in the way we pitch around and  pretend not to be here, in this moment. all the guru-ing in the world can’t change the seemingly limitless energy that we spend avoiding reality. hey, i’m not talking like i’m on some other plain here, i do it too. i can name times and places within the last weeks/days/hours where i dodged reality.

but i sure do love breathing. i love walking and looking at the big cyprus trees that throw craggy branches across the sun. i love that back-woods creak when two huge trees are rubbing together in the wind. i don’t need to spell out the wonders of the world in order for you see them, they are here and ready for us to be aware of them. they wait as sentinels of the only real truth. out beyond our mischievous words and wagging tongues are rivers and skies and plums and crickets and stones and planets. they don’t lie because they don’t need to. they are as real as rain.

since i’m living inside this carcass that goes by the name tobias, i have only this perspective. i’m wrong on the daily. i think i’m perceived one way and, come to find out, someone will have perceived me differently. “I” am in everything i do. i can’t not be the center of my universe. i can only fight to make sure that i believe, and i mean truly believe, that i’m no more important than anyone else, including the people in whom i find little value. it is a fight for me. i take jabs at people all the time. i’m wrong when i think i’m better; it’s as simple as that. i have to choose to think differently. in my little made-for-tobias world, i must check in and remember that the sun shines on us all and even the ones who couldn’t care less about the sun are a part of the bigger picture.  we are all living out our own stories in the midst of infinity. we are dust come to life and destined to mingle with the stars. tomorrow’s past is perched perfectly right up in your grill. smile, damn it, and take a breath.