In the past I thought of myself as living into the future, as a creature of continuity moving through the present, through a succession of presents. The future was a condition of possibility that was separate from me in time, that I could imagine and bring about. It gave me space to master myself.
And now, in the present? This moment is drawing me into itself and dispersing my dreams of future selves. I’ve come from so far yet so near only to be shown the present moment as an abyss in time that can’t be bridged. A hesitation between expectation and memory. An anxiety.
To ‘live in the present’, then? A way to dress up our powerlessness, as if being in the moment were the condition of praiseworthy selfhood and not a kind of living death: a permanent impermanence that swallows us up as we try to separate ourselves from it.
But there’s a pure joy in this, somewhere. I sit myself at my desk, dispersed, waiting for it to lend itself to me.