This eternal moment

She’s in her seventies. She has discovered certain things about herself, truths she didn’t know, but she is sad.

‘Why are you sad?’

‘I wish I’d known these things earlier in my life,’ she says. ‘Things might have been different.’

And perhaps many of us know how she feels.

There is the sense that much of our lives have been lived blind to the forces both within and without; the sense we have taken big decisions blind – and lived the consequences, perhaps for years.

When we needed them, there was no one to show us, so how could we know? We did the best we could, but looking back, with the gift and curse of hindsight, the best was not always great.

So when later in life we make discoveries, receive insights we’d have liked rather sooner, it can make us sad – angry even.

‘I’m glad I know – but it’s a bit late now!’

Though sometimes help arrives; and the impossible occurs.

Sometimes we are caught in the eternal moment, when our whole life is one, rather than a stumbling sequence of events.

This moment holds everything in its arms, both scream and glory, victim and adventurer; and just who did what and when and how, dissolves into the knowledge that all is well.

Perhaps we need not be sad, prisoners to our hurts, to our mistake-strewn chronology, to events beyond our control.

When eternity pricks the present and time melts, whatever our age, everything coheres, everything is one…

and somehow everything has life.

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