|"Waterlilies" original pastel MMSikes|
Are you attentive to the person conversing with you inside a crowded room? Sentence fragments and words from others around you creep in and garner some of your attention. You try to listen, but the clutter of sounds pulls you away. You cannot stay in the present.
Now, even while talking on the telephone, you are probably multitasking. Reading e-mails on your computer. Doing a Google search. And we all know about those who text and drive. Never in the present.
As I consider the way a writer works, I don't believe he/she is really present. Not often anyway. Writers are off on flights of fantasy to some far away dream-struck destination. They are considering, recording, remembering, but they are not present. Even now, as I strike the letters on my keyboard, my mind is far away to other lands, a scattering of ideas, a fantasy landscape that no one but I will dare to enter. Even the mundane pulls me away from the present. What we might have for dinner. What I will do tonight and tomorrow. In fleeting images, all these thoughts pass through my mind.
I think of the true artist. Is she the one who is forever present? Hypnotized by imagery, drugged with paints, her mind connects with color on the canvas and is held like a magnet that will not let go. Time flies by, but she does not notice. She is caught in the present.
Writer. Artist. What does it mean to be present?
--Mary Montague Sikes