One access point for my creative expression is the present moment. I often begin a writing session by peeling away the veil of my errant mind, by “settling” into the moment and noticing the sights and sounds of the world around me. I actually use the phrase, “settle into,” quite often in my first few lines as I write. Today, I was struck by this word, “settle,” and wondered if it might also carry some negative connotations in my psyche that may also represent patterns in my life.
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We use the world “settle” in many ways: to resolve, to decide, to pay a debt, to occupy or populate, to calm down, and to compromise. I like the notion of “settling" into the moment as occupying the moment, as a decisive act of focusing on the moment, as a calming of the spirit. Today, however, I was struck with this notion of compromise, of “settling” for the moment as if there was something else that was being sacrificed. “Settling” seemed a bit passive, as if I was forfeting my own agency in the moment, as if I was surrendering something to life.
This dance between agency and acceptance, between my willfulness and the will of the world, has been a theme throughout my life. The question of how to deal with the greater forces of life, how to distinguish these forces from my own, how to know my own true path in my heart, is a recurring theme in my poetry and my writing. I began to play with other words to describe this act of “present-ing” (spoken by adding the “ing” sound to the word “present” as in the present moment), of “present-ing myself:” leaning into the moment; taking hold of the moment, or seizing the moment. I was seeking a description that made me more active, gave the connotation of engagement rather than mere attentiveness.
All those words don’t seem to fit either: I like what just came to me: “present-ing myself!” It is my own expression and does not have the associations that go with either “settling” or with “seizing.” It is more active than settling and more open than seizing. Today I “present myself” as a part of life, as a gift in a gifted moment.
How do you "present yourself?"
What gift might you be or give in this gifted moment?