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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

From Chris Corrigan via Johnnie Moore:

The second kind of waiting is the one that really fascinates me. This is waiting when we are fully engaged in the present. The most powerful experience I have ever had of this was when my children were born. Being with my partner through two long labours was a very interesting kind of waiting. Time starts to do funny things – it gets shifty and stretchy, and your awareness of it detaches and solely rests on the emergent moment. A child will soon be born, and the best you can do is to be fully alive to that possibility. Distraction serves no purpose. In fact, with our second child, my partner commented that at one point it felt as if she was living in a ghost world. As we walked around with her living through this long and low grade labour (40 hours!) she noted that none of people we were walking past had any idea of what was going on between us and within her. She felt in the world but not at all a part of it – like a ghost. But she was deeply within the moment.

This is a deep presencing. It is waiting for something to emerge, something life changing, possibly life threatening, and yet with no way to know how it will all unfold. Radical trust into the moment, radical readiness to accept what will come.

Brilliant example Chris. If you’d used anything but a story, I’d have missed it.

Prescence is something I barely understand — but on “distracted” I’m a viking. I am always somewhere else. If I’m not, I feel like I’m wasting time. Chris’s example is great for me because I so recently came through the same experience.

For 24 hours, Lori labored for our son. And one of the things that never happened during my experience was distraction. Not a single flicker … not even a second of thought. For me, that is rare. Rarer than rare: exceptionally scarce.

Actually, my interest in prescence is motivated by the same event. Well, the outcome of said event. Namely the boy.

I’ve discovered I am distracted with him. I lay out on the floor, ball in my hand, with his bright eyes on my every move and every expression — and I’m thinking about tomorrow’s schedule, or fixing the squeaky floor, or getting back to my book. But never too far from my thoughts is the understanding that I’ll never lay with him on that floor in that way again. Also rare.

But even bigger … even more generally compelling … know that every moment, whether at work or at love, is the last we can ever have of it’s kind. Rarer than diamonds and rarer than the last of any species: our moments.

For me it doesn’t motivate a maniac attention to seconds but it does evoke a deliberate attention to presence.

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Commentary

…and it’s amazing how quickly those moments pass!