The present is a present

The present is a gift. Our minds easily can take us to so many places whether positive or negative. And usually those places are in the past or in the future. So, we must make an effort to stay in the present.

You might say that this is hard to do when the present isn’t fun or when the present is hard. And let’s face it, right now, the present state of our world is hard. We are in a mass pandemic, the climate crisis is facing us square in the face, and we’ve been doing this distancing thing for almost a year (depending on where you live, for more than a year). So, what about the present is appealing? It may not seem like much. But I will invite you to focus in.

Focus in on your body. Focus in on your breath. If you can take a couple of deep breaths, that will also help. If you are sitting, notice how the chair holds your body up, keeps it from falling down. Notice where you are in this present moment. Notice any scents or smells. I have a candle burning on my desk as I write this. It says its scent is “Olive Leaf and Citron.” Who knows if that’s truly what the scent is, but I like it. Notice any other sounds around you. Notice anything you see.

A goal of being in the present is really to be not to do. To move yourself into a state of being rather than doing. That makes it hard to write and also to be at the same time, because writing is an action, a state of doing rather than being. So, I invite you to try to be in the present– just being for a moment and then I invite you to write about it.

Write:

Write what is in the present right now. You can begin that way too- “In the present…” You can continue to write what is in the present if your train of thought leads you. If it stops, then start again with: “In the present…” Remember to include your 5 senses. Try to write for about ten minutes or if you are doing more of a list, try to write at least ten lines of “In the present…”

You can write simply about what there is or you can write how you feel. You can write how the chair holds you up. You can write about scent. What happens in the right now? What happens in the present? Ex. “In the present there is a candle. In the present I breathe…

When you are done, read it over. Take a moment or two to unfocus your eyes and focus your breath. Is any part of your body touching the floor? If so, feel the floor below you. Notice gravity. Breathe again. Practice being in the present you have just written about. Practice being in the present. It is a gift.

Thank you for writing with us today. If you would like to write with us every week, please sign up for the blog.

May you be as present as possible and may the present be a present.

Take care. Be safe.

Best,

Liza

-Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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