In the Present

The mind searches, sealed corridors of the future, old traps from the past.

I thread a ridgeline of the mind, the finished to one side and the yet-to-happen on the other. The only way to navigate is to focus on the path before me. Right here. Right now.

Years of spinning, of ticking miles, left me with too much unfocused vision.

If the road blanded flat, straight, my mind went anywhere else, among words hurled at an ex, the return fire I’d earned, the laundry piled at the washer, the vacation I wished I was still on.

Once I ground the knife too sharp to continue using it on myself, I realized that on any given day my safety, my peace, was defined more by what I did than what I didn’t. The fall-line singletrack was less a minefield than the bowling lane asphalt proved to be. 

Since then, between bars, I often choose the flat over the drop.

I read the surface for the dirt firm, the stone secure, the scree loose.

Each moment my eyes jump from root to rock, dust to duff. Each moment.

I’m out there, ahead of my wheel, a present I am forever reaching but always a dozen feet from, a distance long enough to measure, short enough to be the same as the moment I’m in. 

Chasing now is the only time I’m free. 





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  1. jlaudolff says

    The world sharpens through the lens of flow. Great essay!

  2. khal spencer says

    Nicely done. I have to read that again, at least twice. Like any good poem, it needs slow and careful chewing and swallowing.

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