“The Moment is the doorway to the presence of God” — that’s what all the spiritual teachers say, one way or another.

Holy hogwash, I say!

First of all, some moments are definitely bad, like the sad ones chasing you from the past, the scary ones chasing you from the future. You’d definitely better run away from those.

Sure, some moments are special, extra-desirable ones — but those are rare.

Photo by Jon Tyson from Unsplash

Most of the moments I have access to and am willing to be in are just ordinary and mundane. Like this one. I’m sitting here, eating oatmeal, looking out the window at the blank face of a building. It’s ok, but that’s all there is to it. There’s nothing I particularly want here. That’s why I have to keep running, so I can catch the really good moments.

Everyone knows that’s the whole point of life. That’s why they teach you how to run in school: so you can outrun the bad moments and catch the good ones. It’s not easy, moments keep slipping out of your grasp, and running for your life is exhausting. But it’s the only way to be in control.

That’s what I’ve been doing all my life, running and running — until today, when something weird happened. In the middle of my oatmeal I stopped to catch my breath — and the Moment sneaked up on me and caught me from behind! It clamped a gentle hand over my mouth so I couldn’t even scream, and held me motionless. Helpless, I watched as it opened the door…

And the Present flooded in — blinding and sweet and immense, gentle and comforting. I was helpless — saturated with an irrational joy, all I could do was look around me, all common sense washed away by the beauty of the world…

Holy Hogwash!
Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards

Trudi Lee Richards, a poetic and musical member of the Universal Human Nation, is the author of On Wings of Intent, a biography of Silo; Soft Brushes with Death, a Jorge Espinet Primer; Confessions of Olivia, a fictional autobiography; and Fish Scribbles. She has also co-authored two books: Experiences on the Threshold and Ambrosia - Poetic Recipes/Recetas poeticas. Exactly two of her poems have been published by anyone other than her less-than-modest self: “The Great 21st Century Poemic" appeared in the April 2021 edition of Global Poemic (globalpoemic.wordpress.com); and "Fairies of the Forest" appeared in the Palo Alto Times "Youth Said It" column in 1957. In the '90s she also wrote for, edited and published an independent San Francisco newspaper, Human Future; and in the '70s she co-founded the San Francisco arts publication La Mamelle, which morphed into Art Com before it died, and whose remnants are now housed in the Stanford Archives. A graduate of Stanford University, she helped raise several humans from infancy, and is now enjoying their friendship. Currently she tends to wander between Oregon and California, enjoying the company of her beloved community of friends and family. She can more or less reliably be found at the west coast Park of Study and Reflection, outside Red Bluff in Northern California, on the third Saturday of every month.