… not now – later …

my little hero

my little hero

Each new generation tends to be smarter. While living in rural Somerset, I observed our four-year old son’s play-acting in the garden from the kitchen window while washing pots. He explored his sharp-shooting skills with wooden blocks, building, destroying, building, destroying, building; and so on … it was his new idea of fun. His aiming was good.

Pots done, I attended to the next task, fetching the milk from the street-hatch, left there by Hope, our farming neighbour. She had poured three pints of milk into a bowl and covered it with a cloth. The cream had risen to the top, ready to be skimmed off, which led on to the next task, preparing the dessert for a birthday meal. At this point my son came rushing into the kitchen, wanting me to witness and applause his new sharp-shooting skill. My brain cells were committed to preparing walnut ice-cream.

I said, ‘Not now, later!’

This trick normally worked for a while, but that day he stood his place, watching me with a quizzing look.

‘When does now end?’ he asked.

Casting my eyes to the ceiling for help, I said, ‘Actually, now never ends,’ realising instantly I was in trouble. The child’s superior grasp of logic would demand, at least, a meaningful explanation, and I could loop myself into philosophical twists. My son had no need to query my shrewd answer, he went one better.

‘So when does later start?’

Time to admit defeat. Drying my hands, I said, ‘Now.’

*    *    *

The memory of the incident inspired me to draft a poem … NOW

by Daphne Joe Grant

Illustration by Daphne Joe Grant

Now is the in-breath

Now is the elusive arc

Now is the outbreath


Over and over

Out of nowhere pops the now

Or so we presume


When will we find you?

Why not tell us your purpose?

Where are you hiding?


Now is a trickster

Not taken in by mind-games

Now laughs inside us


Our time must be round

Or turn through a dark tunnel

Orbiting the now


Waste now and lose her

Weft now to now and she’ll dance

Wed now and be her


Now has no answer

Now is what is truly known

Now breathe her and bow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjwBWE64fG0 Interesting talk by Rupert Spira on perception.

A focussed mind helps us to achieve stuff, but is also easily hijacked by the rat-race, the relentless rush towards meeting deadlines in competitive environments, where no children interrupt and make us pause.

Apparently 10.4 million days are lost annually to work-related stress in the UK alone. And it costs businesses in the US $300bn (£187bn; €237bn) a year. No wonder the ‘Here and Now’ theme is in vogue again, even with hi-tech status. Take a biosensor device, called Pip 🙂 … http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29742908

There is another kind of stress, less talked about, affecting those who work hard for a living, as well as those who lost jobs, or get by on little, or anyone reflecting on human qualities, while witnessing a growing social polarity … as poignantly shown in this image …



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16 responses to “… not now – later …

  1. another thought provoking post. Lovely poem, a charming little slice of memory and then a deeper issue to contemplate – great value for money

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of your very best Ashen! If not THE. Right NOW I am holding ‘later’ at bay, and my god later is insistent to rope me to its agenda. I think the poem needs exposure and hope you won’t mind the reblog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful piece of prose thank you Ashen. We’re more aware I think of ‘the now’ and its value even if it is in vogue!
    I read gerry’s link .. graphic. The others you provided I will still check – later! Am sharing …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, we fill our now with so much that probably doesn’t help us. Like the idea of the PIP but fear it would be one more thing to remember! It’s not just a matter of finding the now, but deciding what to bring into it. At least for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your son had those unbeatable questions spinning in his “Now!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely post – I do think sometimes that without children our lives would speed up and speed up, like bikes hurtling down a hill – until we crashed straight into the wall at the bottom.

    I’d also say that there will come a day when your son leaves home (hard to imagine now, but it will come) and all the moments that you choose to share with him, human to human, will be stored up, like a box of treasure, for him and for you. When your children are at home, especially when they’re little, the present feels continuous and eternal. And sometimes interminable. On the day that they leave, you feel a guillotine come down and neatly separate that time into history. It’s an odd feeling and a strong one. It’s not bad, it’s just visceral and stark.

    It sounds as if you’re filling the box of treasure with abundant, bright beauty. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: … World News – by Mulla – Allum … | Course of Mirrors

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