In the evening, I finished some work and went for a walk. The air was misty and moist. It is November, after all. The days have gotten colder, and it is not uncommon that, while the days are warm, courtesy of the generous winter sun, a shiver enters the room like some ungodly wraith as soon as the clock strikes five. Suddenly, all life creeps away from everything around you, and you hunt for a jacket. As I walked to the coffee shop, all the while debating whether to get a cup and realising that I had walked to it only out of habit, I started to remember. Walking the same streets day by day has that effect—you tend to run into a ghost now and then.
In a November not too long ago from now, I was handed several pieces of my life, chipped, broken and cracked. I held them in my hands and asked: what must I do with all this? A voice echoed from deep within the caverns of my heart: what we all must do with pieces; you rebuild. And even though it feels like it was yesterday, an entire year has passed. Credit where it’s due: I did not get here alone. There is always a nudge from others, and there is always the kind hand of fate. Be that as it may, I have now rebuilt.
There is a soft, wilful complacency in me now. Perhaps, this is what happens when you get older. Perhaps, it is an end result of being handed pieces of what you call life. I wouldn’t know, and happy and proud as I was, I kept walking. Just then, I heard an echo: what now? And in it lay all of humanity’s sin and the source of all unhappiness. This question had cut many before me; I, too, had been a victim of its blade.
I seized my walk and went home to spend time with family, and we had tea, and we made jokes about nothing in particular, and we had dinner, and then we watched some TV. It is a good life, and when it is good, we must protect it, especially from ourselves. The worry about the future is often too early, and it is often the only thing that unravels the present. I know it because I have done it. I started pulling at a thread, and before I knew it, it had come undone.
When we ask: what now? We must answer: nothing. That is the only thing we must do with the now—nothing at all.