You Are Here

October 26th, 2009

I love the big maps in airports and shopping centers that have a star with a caption reading YOU ARE HERE. There are so few times in my life when I am absolutely sure I’m where I should be, but when I stand in front of one of those signs, I can stop holding my breath, working my worry, fighting existential confusion. Because someone has given me a solid message I can hang onto for a change. Not a sappy affirmation, a mantra I’ll forget or an ego stroke from the Universe. For a brief moment, I am grounded. Like the pilots who overshot their destination due to “a loss of situational awareness” (otherwise known as fucking up), I am often adrift in space and time. I go the grocery and forget what I came to buy. I carry on a phone conversation while my mind is still on the novel I’m reading about 18th century time travelers. I wander into the kitchen and wonder what I went there to get, and when I can’t remember, I settle for ice cream. There are so few times when I am solidly HERE: listening deeply to the person talking to me; not listening to TV while I’m working on the computer; enjoying the required time-out of a red light. Instead I am usually sending my anxiety ahead to the office while I’m still in the process of driving there or hopping from one experience to another in a split screen world. Like everyone I know, I’ve spent a lot of time being lost in my own life, but there are moments when I wish I could pull up a mental map and realize I AM HERE and it’s wonderful.

4 Responses to “You Are Here”

  1. anna maria says:

    Be in the moment. Be here now. I hear it all the time, I believe in it, but it is probably the MOST difficult message for me to heed.

  2. renovatingrita says:

    I will never look at one of those maps again w/o feeling relief, a gentle reminder to be centered. TY

  3. Kathleen Botsford says:

    While I am getting better at "being HERE, now" I still go to the kitchen and can't remember why I am there. Thank God I don't keep ice cream in the house. I was supposed to go somewhere today but for the life of me, I can't remember where… here I sit….until I don't.

  4. Genevieve Charet says:

    How about those maps that DON'T have a "You Are Here" marker? I can't stand those! It's like plopping me in the middle of Death Valley and giving me a driving map to Chicago…uh, only half the answer, guys!

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