The green or grey of Hugo's eyes depends on the weather. "This 'Not Today' attitude of yours is a cancer. Cancer of the character. It stunts your growth. Other kids sense your Not-Todayness, and despise you for it. 'Not Today' is why those plebs in Black Swan made you nervous. 'Not-Today' - I would bet - is at the root of that speech defect of yours." (A shame bomb blew my head off.) " 'Not Today' condemns you to be the lapdog of authority, any bully, any shitehawk. They sense you won't stand up to them. Not today, not ever. 'Not Today' is the blind slave of every petty rule. Even the rule that says" - Hugo did this bleaty voice - " 'No, smoking is BAD! Don't listen to naughty Hugo Lamb!' Jason, you have to kill 'Not-Today.' "
- David Mitchell, Black Swan Green
* * *
There is this: everything, the whole of life, is ceaselessly emergent, ceaselessly in decline, ceaselessly flowing into and out of each moment, ceaselessly using what is at hand to prompt the next thing, the next step, the next moment, the next breath, the next death, the next gesture. It moves. Ceaselessly, it moves. Our judgments of good or bad are immaterial to the process itself. They matter only to us as we live well or less-well in each cascading moment. What fucks you, love, is postponing to some later date, some future moment when you'll have the courage or the money or the time (ha!) to get around to all those things you meant to do.
You never get there, love. Do you? Time becomes a bead of mercury you chase across the floor: impossible to capture. This is why we fear death, for we have squandered all those successive moments waiting, waiting, waiting for some perfect moment when we could finally act, be free, be at home in the world. It isn't the death we fear, but the realization we've blown it.
But here's the good news: everything, the whole of life, is ceaselessly emergent, ceaselessly in decline, ceaselessly flowing into and out of each moment, ceaselessly using what is at hand to prompt the next thing. Your fuckedness, your Not-Todayness is permanent only to the extent you allow it to be. You, too, are ceaselessly emergent.
* * *
Inside each breath is a death. Inside each truth is a lie. Inside each moment is eternity. It is all we have and it is more than enough. It is our rootstock, our origin, the legacy of every act of kindness, every brutality, every cruelty, every act of love, courage, fidelity, infidelity, cowardice and forgiveness. This is what we do inside the ceaseless flow. We are human: fallible, frail, resilient, searching, foolish, faithful, drowsy, ignorant, capable, heroic by dint of waking to face each day. In order to unfuck what is fucked you have to kill 'Not Today.' There is only today, friend. Every postponement is a betrayal.
You cannot run away from a weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
Today is all we have. It is enough. It is more than enough to put you back into the ceaseless flow and give what you have to your life, your loves, your time. And because it is ceaselessly emergent, you get to do so every day until your days run dry. And after, after your decline, your dissolution, your example will remain for a while and effect those who were part of your orbit. The only question that is unanswered is whether or not that example will help them to be kinder, gentler, more willing to enter the stream or not. What you do today will be their inheritance.
So, what's it going to be?
* * *
This one's for Levon. Boom.