Four Hours and a Flash

Four hours. That’s the time it took to take a sentence I heard a month ago and turn it into a 700-word expression of what that sentence means to me.

It’s a thing of beauty going from the barest slip of an idea to the full blown realization of it. It’s an interior exercise. Those four hours just melt into the shimmer of the Universe, and I sit inside them as though held suspended above everything.

It is in this suspension that I am able to get at it. To sort out and explain to myself what a string of seven words means. Why they are important, beyond important. Why they stopped me dead in my tracks when I first heard them. Why they keep me up at night. Why they call to me, demanding my attention. And in that time, held up by the Universe, I have accepted their insistent invitation; my reward: the journey into myself, with clear understanding the final destination.

The satisfaction I feel in this – the entire cycle from the first catching of the seven, to the choosing of when I will pay them the notice they deserve, to the actual sitting down to look them squarely in the eye and see their meaning – is so complete, it nearly overwhelms me. A satisfaction so thoroughly nourishing to me, I feel as though I must be sinning.

How is it possible to sit in a chair, fingers pecking at plastic letters that magically appear before my eyes, laying the trail from concept to comprehension, where all sound is replaced by the hum of my commune with the Unnamable, and in four hours to receive this greatest of gifts?

If anyone were to catch a glimpse of me, they would see a woman working at her computer. Little would they know that she is in deep prayer, the buzz of consciousness from whence all life comes sounding in her ears, as through an invisible headset, to which she is dancing. Dancing like the snake charmed out of its basket, rising up, reaching toward fruit that dangles from a high branch.

And the reach is a stretch, of the mind as of a taught muscle or the harp’s string, that in itself is an act of dizzying pleasure. Which comes to its end in the tender grasp of knowledge, self knowledge, the seeker’s prize. As if I have reached out to myself, inside myself, both seeker and fruit, and in the sweet moment of triumph, the suspension is no more. I float back down to the sound of the tapping keys, the hum of the computer, the sound of a voice in the next room.

I have begun to yearn for this time. Even to covet it. Everything else is scheduled around it, and I am grouchy if anything intervenes. But there still isn’t enough of it. And I wonder how I can order my life so that this is mostly what I do instead of what I do in between all the other? I am working on this. But as yet, have not achieved it. So, when I do have this time, I rush toward it, stubbing my toe on the corners of my life that protrude in my path. I damn them – givers of pain, irritants, barriers to my joy – as one who pushes her way into church.

After my silent communion, four hours transformed to a few moments, prize in hand, I feel myself returning not just to the world, but to the one so impatient with it. And as I press the key to exit…flash. I find I am not just out of my document, but out of the program I used to  write it. A knife digs deep in my gut as I furiously log back in. The blood oozes out as I gaze on the place I had just left, so full of mighty, glorious, stunning self-expression and now, blank.  A smack. A gash. A slaying. Feelings of betrayal, indignance, fury whirl across the floor with their partners shock, disbelief, and heart-rending sadness.

No way to recover. No option but to write it again.

No option except to learn from it. To surrender to it. To find a way to love that it happened and to be friends with the world once again. To accept the message in it that this time out of time is nothing less than Grace, the fruit of which can be taken in the space of a flash.

And so I am taught to treat it with the gratitude It deserves. Shoes off and head just bowed, hushed, a soft smile resting upon my lips, as I extend my reach.

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About Rebecca Reynolds

Leadership Guru; Systems Thinker; Complex Problem Solver; Facilitative Leader...also LOVE life, dog Wiley, good food, Malbec, forests, oceans, yoga stillness, the boxing bag, ballroom dance, and movies.
This entry was posted in conflict, Story, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Four Hours and a Flash

  1. Sarah Reynolds says:

    So … what were the seven words, if one may ask?

    • Hey there – thanks for the read! I didn’t include the seven because they served a more metaphorical purpose, and I didn’t want to detract from the focus of the post…still my preference! 🙂

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