Do One Thing!

Woke in the darkness

of my life with hands busy

trying to organize and do

Mind racing there and here

as if eyes might see

how to control the Unknown

Woke in the darkness

of the night sensing

no pretense of control

to be found anywhere in Life

“Do one thing!” desperation urges me

“One thing,” as if that single act

must change my life

One thing, with presence

mindful awareness bowing

to Mystery.

The busyness of modern life almost seems designed to prevent us from noticing those things most important, those qualities of living that actually add value and meaning to the depths of existence: love, and simple presence, for example. What if our sustained thrivability, our wild resiliency, personally and collectively, is actually hinged upon the courageous willingness to become present to ourselves and to each other, to the sensorial experience of being simply and vibrantly alive in the world?
There is a definition of enlightenment I like: The ability to do only one thing at a time.
Is it possible you might be able to do ‘just one thing’ today?
NOTE: An intriguing exploration of how technology is affecting our lives is available the the PBS site, airing on Frontline: Digital_Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier. The program explores many arenas, however, as one researcher says, “Multitaskers are terrible at multitasking.”

1 Comment

  1. Michael Lewis

    02/03/2010 at 7:21 pm

    More synchronicity with you as I watched frontline last night. The program was so good and well done; I even recorded some of it for use in my “one thing”. My task feels very focused and is full of much needed attention on so many fronts that I feel I am juggling 101 balls, while attempting to stop them in mid air, freezing them in relation to my life. Reading Edwin Manners’ diary as he wrote it 100 years ago always helps as I see him truly giving attention to what is in front of him:
    February 1, 1910
    Consented to the assignment of the Theatorium lease to a subtenant.
    Mrs. Muirheid was at luncheon and Mrs. McGee called in the evening. I had a pleasant tete a tete with the former. The latter allured temperately: indeed her theology is too rigid for me; and yet after a glass or so of wine she said to my surprise, wittingly I thought, “What is more sad than an empty bottle!”
    February 2, 1910
    At Carnegie Hall this afternoon I saw Maud Allan dance in dishabille. She danced to the accompaniment of the Russian Symphony Orchestra, which was led by Modest Altschuler. The modest conductor was not visibly shocked, although no doubt he had his moments of despair. The music at times swooned or struck dumb, sending the dancer to the floor, perhaps with a degree of poetic justice. It affected me curiously. I wondered, if I could uncover the sensoria of the various heads about me and take their several musical concepts, how interesting the revelation would be. Miss Allan, in a graceful way, with more or less pertinence and symbolism, essayed to interpret a Peer Gynt scheme and some songs and dance movements, winding up with Salome. The Salome part, while in this instance rendered subtly in dim, becoming lights and effects, is being overdone – exploited. It has a peculiar fascination, owing, I fancy, to the mystery and depth of that Dionean passion which finds other artistic expression in “Isabella and the Pot of Basil”, but is in truth an abnormal phase of love, morbid, sensual and grewsome. Urania makes a more beautiful appeal.
    I really like your poem, and feel your need to organize and get the next thing done. I would like to toast with you in this, releasing any desperation into the abyss and clinking our glasses as we do the best we can today.

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